Friendship is a wonderful and funny thing. You find a random person that you connect with and suddenly they’re your person, and hopefully you’re theirs.
The Bible has a very clear stance on friendship and repeatedly stresses the importance of having friends. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
God doesn’t just stop at telling us the importance of friendships! The Bible is full of relationships that model how to be a good friend and what characteristics to look for in a friend. Below are 3 of the greatest examples, in my opinion, of friendship in the Bible!
David and Jonathan
These two are by far my favorite and have been since I was a teenager. (I even wrote a sermon on their relationship in high school.) In 1 Samuel it says “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” They weren’t connected romantically, but they loved each other purely and completely.
Jonathan was the most selfless and loyal friend. He gave up his symbols of power for David and even alerted David to Saul’s threat to his life. They fought together, cried together, and were loyal to each other no matter the cost.
When it comes to friendship, loyalty and emotional openness are key to having a strong relationship. We need to know our village has our back and they must be able to trust that we will do the same.
Elijah and Elisha
Elijah was the greatest prophet in all of Israel’s history. Elisha, Elijah’s successor, did even more miracles than him! Elisha chose to stay by Elijah’s side because he knew that Elijah would be a great mentor.
The campus pastor at my church recently spoken on this duo. And it got me thinking about the importance of who we keep in our close circle. We start to resemble our peers whether we mean to or not. Because of this, we need to chose friends that are pursuing the same purpose as us and with the same passion.
Elisha was called by God to do great things, but had he chosen a friend that did not encourage a real devotion to God he wouldn’t have reached his full potential.
Ruth and Naomi
Ruth married Naomi’s son. In a tragic turn of events both women lost their husbands. Ruth could’ve left Naomi, she was no longer bound to her mother-in-law. But she stayed. In Ruth 1 she says to Naomi, “Don’t urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.”
Despite her pain and destitute state, Ruth stayed with her friend. She could’ve thought only of herself and left to find a new husband but she thought of Naomi. She thought of her pain and stayed to ease it.
Have you ever had a close friend disappear when you entered a difficult season of life? Friendships are great in the good times, all the laughs and fun make for great memories. However, a real friend is around when your life falls apart. When the smoke and ash of what once was is settling they’re the ones by your side to help pick up the pieces and build you back up.
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” They walk with you through the valley and celebrate with you on the mountain!
Loyal, Godly, and selfless are the three words I’d use to describe the perfect friend. These three friendships show just how important these traits are and the difference good friends can make in one’s life. David may not have been the same king without Jonathan. Elisha may not have been able to show God’s glory through all his miracles without Elijah’s influence. And Naomi would have been left a poor widow without Ruth by her side. If you have a friend like these three count yourself blessed. They’re truly a gift.
Happy Best Friend Day! Hug those you call BFF and thank them for being a part of your life. And tell me about your dearest friend in the comments!