As we mature in life, we learn how to live in relationships with people beyond our family context. We live life with friends. Naturally, we learn about relating to others through our families, but our relational connections extend to our network of friendships. We need healthy friendship relationships. In the text for today’s study, we will explore the friendship between David and Jonathan and search for clues that might assist us in developing healthy relationships with our friends.
Having deep friendships with a handful of people is God’s plan. There are a number of passages in Scripture that make this point somewhat directly, such as Acts 2, which talks about how devoted the early church members were to one another. But the fact is, the idea that we are in this together is so basic it is more assumed than stated. It emerges as we reflect on the idea that we have been made in the image of a God who has eternally existed in the friendship of himself: he is one God but three persons; God has never been alone or lonely . . . This need for connecting with other people is reinforced by the language that surrounds our spiritual rebirth. When we come to faith, we are adopted into the family of God and become brothers and sisters in Christ . . . I would submit to you that the idea that you were created for community—that friendship is expected, that you are to cultivate loving, nurturing relationships with others—is assumed on just about every page of the Bible.
– Mike Woodruff is pastor of Christ Church Lake Forest in Lake Forest, Illinois, and president of The Christian International Scholarship Foundation. This quotation is from his sermon, You Were Created to Connect.
FOCAL PASSAGE: 1 Samuel 18-20
God designed us to live as social creatures. We are to develop significant relationships beyond our family setting. The Psalmist warns us to be careful when we select those close friendships. Friends can be incredibly influential in our development as human beings. David and Jonathan were true friends and stood by each other during times of crises. We can learn from their example.
ISSUES/QUESTIONS TO ADDRESS