I enjoy studying the lives of men and women of the Bible because they allow me to envision the application of Scripture (or the lack of it). First Corinthians 10:1-12 is a reminder that every event recorded in Scripture was written for “our instruction”—so it seems reasonable that we would look to biblical friendships as a guide for ours. One of the classic descriptions of friendship recorded in Scripture is that of Jonathan and David (1 Sam. 18:1-4, 19, 20, 23:16, 2 Sam. 1:17). The qualities of their relationship provide a wonderful role model for the Everyday Homemaker.
Friendship requires effort (18:1). In our twenty-first century society; too many friendships are based on surface attributes and selfish ambitions. Jonathan’s cultivation of his friendship with David reflects a willingness to cross social barriers and personal agendas to develop a genuine relationship.
Friendship involves sacrifice (18:4, 23:16-17). Unselfishness is always necessary to practice true friendship. Each individual must be willing to give up something treasured; in Jonathan’s case, he willingly surrendered his rightful position as king.
Friendship promotes the best interests of the other (19:1-7). Jeopardizing his own safety and relationship with his father, Jonathan sought to alert David to potential danger, defended him, and cultivated a spirit of reconciliation between Saul and David.
Friendship is willing to take the brunt of another person's circumstances (20:24-33).
Every woman needs someone to "go to the wall for her," and, against insurmountable odds, Jonathan did “go to the wall” for David. Second Samuel 1:26 clearly describes that David’s love for Jonathan was reciprocated. “A deep concern and affection was the basis of the covenantal relationship between Jonathan and David. This is the affection commanded by God when He said, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
May I encourage you to evaluate the qualities of Jonathan and David’s friendship in light of the qualities resident in yours? Perhaps these questions will help . . .
- Am I willing to pursue a relationship if it requires effort?
- Do I make significant personal sacrifices for my friends?
- Do I promote the best interests of my friends?
- Am I willing to take the brunt of another person’s circumstances?
The woman who seeks to cultivate friendships that please her heavenly Father chooses, through His strength, to carefully evaluate the characteristics of her friendships against the unchanging wisdom found in His Word. The question, “Do I choose to love at all times?” (Proverbs 17:17) was crafted to help you discern the quality of the friendship you extend by first searching the Scriptures for friendship wisdom and then evaluating your responses against God’s ageless standards. Simply follow the instructions that follow to honestly respond to the question.
- Read the category and each Scripture listed under it.
- Copy and answer the questions developed for you; provide specific examples to support your yes or no response.
- Read each additional Scripture and rewrite it into a question that provides a basis for you to evaluate your performance as a friend.
- Seek your own Scriptures to augment those provided for you.
- Answer each question you wrote.
What kind of friend am I admonished to be?
- Proverbs 17:17—Do I love my friends at all times?
- Proverbs 18:24b—Am I available to my friends when they are experiencing difficult times?
- Suggested Scriptures for your questions: Proverbs 27:6, 1 Corinthians 13:7, Galatians 5:14.
What kind of friend do we need?
- Proverbs 18:24—Do I have a friend who is more loyal than a family member? Do I display that kind of loyalty in my friendships?
- Galatians 5:22—Do I have friends who exhibit the fruit of the Spirit? Do I exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in my dealings with my friends?
- Suggested Scriptures for your questions: Ephesians 4:1-6, 29.
Who wants to be that friend?
- John 15:14-15—Do I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
- Matthew 10:37—Am I willing to invest the same energy to cultivate a strong friendship with Jesus Christ as I invest in earthly friendships?
- Suggested Scriptures for your questions: Proverbs 17:17b; John 15:13; 1 John 3:13-18.
Those who are not my friends
- Matthew 5:44—How am I to respond to those with whom I do not share a compatible relationship?
- Romans 12:17-21—What type of behavior am I to manifest among those with whom I do not share a compatible relationship?
- Suggested Scriptures for your questions: Psalm 143; Proverbs 25:21-22.
My friendships with fellow Christians
- Romans 12:10—How should I treat other Christians?
- Romans 14:10-13—What must I guard against with fellow Christians?
- Suggested Scriptures for your questions: Matthew 7:1-2, 5; Philippians 2:3-4.
- Matthew 6:12-15—When others have wronged me, what must be my attitude?
- Matthew 5:23-24—When I have wronged others, what steps am I to take?
- Suggested Scriptures for your questions: Matthew 18:21-22; James 5:16.
- Mark 11:25-26—Is there someone I hold a grudge against?
- Luke 6:37-38—Am I self-righteous or judgmental?
- Suggested Scriptures for your questions: Matthew 5:38-42; James 3:13-17.
The month of February challenged us to focus on expressing love to others. May I encourage you to regularly evaluate your friendships so that you will be known as a woman who loves at all times rather than isolating affirmation of others simply to the month of February? Blessings on your day as you focus on making your house a home!
THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER’S MONTHLY MEDITATION THOUGHT
God has said, “Be patient, therefore brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the judge is standing at the door” (James 5:7-9).
Therefore, I may boldly say, “I am to picture every prayer as a seed planted in God’s will. As I wait, I should picture them ripening, trusting in God’s perfect harvest time.”
A GIFT FOR YOU!
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 John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible (Nashville: Word: 1997), note at 1 Samuel 20:17.