After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. – 1 Samuel 18:1 (NIV)
Friendship is a funny thing. It is a relationship that can be difficult to define, but easy to recognize. When Jonathan watches David interact with Saul, he recognizes the characteristics of what he wanted in a friend. This doesn’t always happen this way. Sometimes friendships take years to develop and sometimes those we once considered enemies become our closest companions. This is the mystery of friendship.
I have been blessed to have several good friends over the years that have challenged, encouraged and changed me by their character and commitment. My life is better for the friends I have and have had over the course of life and I want the same for my daughters. But finding friends can be hard. Hopefully my daughters will not need to slay a Philistine giant to find a friend who will love them as they love themselves.
There are giants they will have to overcome in order to have good and godly friendships. They will need to overcome pride, selfishness, greed and fear. They will have to triumph over the voices advertising the kind of friends that are cool and acceptable. They will have to pursue victory over the temptation to change others to be just like them. Teaching our children how to be friends is one of the greatest gifts we give to the world. Helping them understand the blessing and benefits of friendship is one of the best gifts we can give to our children.
Lord, help me teach my children to be godly companions to their friends. Help me show them the blessings of friendships that improve all your other relationships. Give me the opportunities to speak into their lives and circumstances and may they be the kind of friend that makes someone else’s life better. Amen.