True Friend?

In 8th grade, an important acting role came across my path. Of course, it was not like I was up for an Emmy or something, but new best buddies seemed to crawl out of the woodwork. My status as a great person had not been noticed before. There was one particular girl that seemed very excited for me and was constantly around. However, that friendship dissolved when the play was over. That new found relationship moved onto the leading roles of the next play, leaving me behind….

Upon reflection much later, that was a huge lesson to learn. That friendship was brought about by meeting in a play production, a normal way to meet someone. However, after the initial meeting, nothing more happened. Blame did not lie at either of our doors. We just wanted two very different things. I wanted friendship and she wanted popularity. The roots of a growing friendship require each person to give of oneself, without expecting return. Commitment was not on either of our minds. We each had a different agenda for personal gain.

Over history there have been many unusual friendships. The one common theme has been loyalty, with an undying appreciation of the other person. There always seems to be a common denominator only known by friends…

What is true friendship?

Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NLT)

Meeting of new friends…

After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt. (1 Samuel 18:1-4 NLT)

Standing by a friend…

Saul now urged his servants and his son Jonathan to assassinate David. But Jonathan, because of his strong affection for David, told him what his father was planning.  “Tomorrow morning,” he warned him, “you must find a hiding place out in the fields. I’ll ask my father to go out there with me, and I’ll talk to him about you. Then I’ll tell you everything I can find out.”  The next morning Jonathan spoke with his father about David, saying many good things about him. “The king must not sin against his servant David,” Jonathan said. “He’s never done anything to harm you. He has always helped you in any way he could. (1 Samuel 19:1-4 NLT)

So Saul listened to Jonathan and vowed, “As surely as the LORD lives, David will not be killed.” Afterward Jonathan called David and told him what had happened. Then he brought David to Saul, and David served in the court as before. (1 Samuel 19:6-7 NLT)

It is important to note that Jonathan continued his entire life to stand by his friend, even when his own life was in peril. Saul did not always reveal his plans of killing David.

Loving a friend…

So Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, saying , “May the LORD destroy all your enemies!” And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself. (1 Samuel 20:16-17 NLT)

Saying Goodbye to a friend…

As soon as the boy was gone, David came out from where he had been hiding near the stone pile. Then David bowed three times to Jonathan with his face to the ground. Both of them were in tears as they embraced each other and said good-bye, especially David. (1 Samuel 20:41-42 NLT)

Encouragement from a friend…

“Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the next king of Israel, and I will be next to you, as my father, Saul, is well aware.” So the two of them renewed their solemn pact before the LORD. Then Jonathan returned home, while David stayed at Horesh. (1 Samuel 23:17-18)

Honoring a friend…

David honored his friend Jonathan by bringing his only son to eat at the King’s table for as long as he was king. What a friendship! There was never a doubt that they were friends.

Applying This at Home

How can our children learn from this? I encourage you to read through David and Jonathan’s story in the Bible with your child. Discuss with them what it means to be a true friend, verses a superficial one. A true friend will always think of the other person first. Talk with your child about their friends, and discuss which ones are really true friends, verses superficial. In doing so, your child will become wiser in their selection of friends.

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Karen Leaman

Karen Leaman has a passion for students, and for over 30 years has been volunteering within churches and other ministries, leading and mentoring students.

Karen, and her husband Ken, have been married for 31 years, and have a 30 year old son.  They live in Allen, TX, just North of Dallas.

As Karen and Ken, repeatedly witnessed many Christian students who were active within the Church walk away from their faith shortly after graduating high school, they grew frustrated.  Studies show that about 70% of young adults leave their faith after graduation, which is a huge issue since they are the future of the Church.  After much prayer and searching God's direction for many years, the Leaman's felt His calling to start a ministry to address this problem.  In 2014, they gathered like minded Christian professionals to help begin Young Adults of Worth Ministries.  We believe that this ministry is from God, and it will be blessed by Him for His glory alone.