This morning I was reading in 1 Samuel chapter 18 about the friendship between David and Jonathan. David was the shepherd boy from Bethlehem that had been anointed by Samuel the prophet as the next King of Israel while Saul was still the King. God told Samuel, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one." (1 Sam. 16:12) Jonathan on the other hand is the son of King Saul, heir apparent to the throne of his father. With those two descriptions alone you would expect these two young men to be enemies, but God definitely had another plan.
1 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father's house. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 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. (1 Samuel 18:1-4)Talk about becoming 'fast friends'. In fact, their friendship is one of the deepest and closest friendships recorded throughout the pages of the Bible. The footnotes in my Bible talk about what made their friendship so special:
- They based their friendship on commitment to God, not just to each other.
- They let nothing come between them, not even career or family problems.
- They drew closer together when their friendship was tested.
- They remained friends to the end.
As I began to reflect on those statements, God brought to my mind that this is not only a picture of my friendships, but also of my marriage.
- When Randy and I stood before our Pastor and friends in 1984, we made a commitment to God and to each other. We entered into a covenant relationship. A relationship that is meant to stand the test of time. That commitment meant something then and it means everything today.
- Marriage is hard work. When you get two strong-willed people together there are bound to be disagreements. It took us quite a long time to smooth out all of the rough spots. Life will throw all kinds of distractions your way meant to conquer and divide your household. It takes determination to not allow those to divide you.
- You must learn to pick your battles. "He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends" (Proverbs 17:9). Learn to forgive quickly and easily so that nothing can come between you.
- Just like "testing of your faith produces endurance", testing of our marriage has brought us closer together. I love him much differently today than I did when I married him. Like gold that has been refined by fire, so has our love been refined.
- I can honestly say that outside of Jesus, Randy is my best friend.
Jesus said it this way, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." John 15:12 If we follow this command, our lives will be rich with friends, good friends that will last the test of time.