Sometimes in life you don’t realize how much you need something until you finally have it. For 17 years I wanted a best friend, so I searched for my soul sister. Sadly, time and time again I realized what I thought to be fellow sheep, were actually wolves in disguise. At year 18, after years of disappointment and heartbreak, I threw my hands in the air and cried out to God, “I give up!” That year I stopped looking, took my eyes off the world, and dove into the most beautiful relationship anyone could dream of… a relationship with the Creator of the universe. Although my heart was more full than it had ever been before, something was still missing: fellowship, a friendship with someone who would love Christ with me, someone who would walk alongside me in my journey with Him. As I surrendered my longing for friendship to the Lord, I found the friend my heart actually needed, and in that moment I began to knit my soul to hers.
We often cannot help but compare ourselves, and others, to the men and women of the Bible. I look at David and Jonathan and it is as if she and I are looking in a mirror. God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3 NKJV) including an incredible story of two men who define brotherhood, or in our case, sisterhood. David and Jonathan are two of the Old Testament Bible greats and throughout their friendship we can see their pure love for one another. A love that paints a beautiful picture of what true friendship really looks like; a template we can copy.
LOVE– “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” (1 Samuel 18:1b) Love is key to any relationship, and in Scripture we are commanded to love one another, in fact it is the second greatest commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). Today’s society has taught people to think of themselves before others, but Jesus leads you to love your friend as you would want them to love you, and sometimes that means putting their best interest before yours.
SACRIFICE– “Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt” (1 Samuel 18:4). Jonathan was King Saul’s heir to the throne, but God had other plans and deemed David the next king (1 Samuel 16:1-13). Jonathan had every human “right” to fight David for the throne, but he chose to surrender to the Lord. In that moment he laid down all that he had worked for in his life regarding his future. He sacrificed everything for David’s advancement to royalty. Long before the verse was penned he lived out John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Not everyone experiences such extreme sacrifices in their friendship; however, there are always wills that can be laid down for one another.
PROTECTION/LOYALTY– “Whatever you yourself desire, I will do it for you.” (1 Samuel 20:4) As David’s future rule drew closer, King Saul’s heart was filled with anger towards him, eventually driving him to seek David’s life (see 1 Samuel 20 for context). Jonathan played a middle man, speaking to his father Saul on multiple occasions, and then reporting a full synopsis back to David. Each and every time Jonathan was unwavering in his friendship. As your friend draws closer to fulfilling the role God has called her to, the target on her back will get bigger, and the enemy will fire his darts. In that moment it will be your turn to play the middle man with the best protection you can offer: prayer.
UNITY– David and Jonathan were what some would call “two of a kind.” They were both fearless men of war, clearly seen in their most popular adventures: David, the skinny young shepherd boy verses the Philistine giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17) and Jonathan, the daring prince who took on 20 Philistines with only his armor bearer by his side (1 Samuel 14:1-14). They were valiant in war because they knew God was with them, displaying not only unity of personality, but unity in spirituality as well. Isabel Norton said, “In my friend, I find a second self,” and I have come to realize that adventures in life become so much more enjoyable when this sense of unity is shared.
Jonathan and David set a biblical example of what it looks like to delight in genuine fellowship. They show us how to love passionately, how to sacrifice whole heartedly, how to protect honestly, and how to walk in unity. This journey is a battle we are not meant to fight alone. We are meant to have a battle buddy. I’ll leave you with two questions. Who is fighting by your side? Are you knitting your soul to someone? I ask you to begin praying for that sister, for someone who will challenge and inspire you, then spend a lot of time with them, and allow God to change your life through their fellowship. Believe me, He will. I’ve experienced it myself. “As iron sharpens iron so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NLT)
By: Sophia Masih