Who’s your best friend these days? Remember how important this question was when you were growing up? Is having a best friend something we outgrow? Most of us who are married (or those who are happily married anyway) would say that our spouse is our best friend – and this is a very good thing. But my question is this one: outside of your spouse, do you have a best friend? A further question: Why is friendship so often considered a feminine thing?
Really great friendships are usually self-explanatory. Involved are two people who are similar in temperament, share the same interests, have the same story or share the same station in life. It’s almost as if we are destined to be best friends with someone we meet who is similar to us. All it takes are the circumstances which allow us to meet for the very first time. The rest just seems to unfold naturally.
But the Bible describes a friendship that almost defies explanation. If ever there was an unlikely friendship, it was this one. If two guys were ever destined to be enemies… it was these two men. I’m speaking of the friendship between David and Jonathan. The greatest problem between them is that they were both rivals to the throne of Israel. Both were “promised” the throne and yet only one could attain it. Their relationship was a set up for a disaster.
Yet it was anything but a disaster. While David is always perceived as the bigger personality of the two, I believe the primary reason for the quality of this friendship is to be found in the heart of Jonathan. He’s the unsung hero of the story. He’s the kind of friend all of us wish we had.
One passage that sums it all up is 1 Samuel 18:3-4. Here’s what it says,
“And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.”
Did you catch that? It says that Jonathan loved David as himself. This is the key to all great friendships—putting another person ahead of ourselves. Jonathan was a giver. The good of his friend David meant more to Jonathan than his own position or reputation. If anyone ever understood there was more to life than himself, it was Jonathan.
Their friendship continued to develop until the day that Jonathan was tragically killed in a battle. To say the word of Jonathan’s death overwhelmed David is an understatement. David lamented his death in 2 Samuel 1:25-26. Here are David’s words:
“How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.”
While there are some who choose to believe that David and Jonathan had some kind of inappropriate relationship, I think the reality is simply people long to find themselves in this kind of friendship. How nice it must be to have someone care about us the way Jonathan cared about David. Most of us intuitively know how rare this truly is. We wish we had someone like Jonathan in our lives.
How do you find a friend like this? You don’t. You must instead choose to become this kind of friend to someone else. If you want to have someone care deeply about you, you must decide to care deeply about them…first. There is no other way. When you do find this kind of person you will have discovered a person who understands there is more to life than themselves. And finding this will always turn heads!
To have the kind of friend you want, become the kind of friend someone else wants!