The following is a synopsis of a lesson called: “The Discipline of Friendship” taught at “Wingmen” on January 26, 2011…
When a tragedy wakes you up at 2 am, completely “rattles your world” and leaves your family reeling ….
WHO ARE YOU GOING TO CALL?
The person you will call is your “2 am friend“. It is that person that will spring into action, not out of a sense of obligation, but out of love, commitment, and … friendship.
GOT ONE? Most men don’t! Individualization, autonomy, rebellion and isolation have robbed men of the blessing that close friendship offers. Friendships that go deeper than the latest sports or political news are rare indeed. (Hebrews 10:25). We were created to have (and be to others) “2 am friends”. The story of David and Jonathan provides a blueprint for a healthy and committed friendship. (I Samuel 14-20)
QUICK LIST: FRIENDS…
1. HAVE A COMMON GOAL (1 Sam 18:1) 1 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. This was right after Jonathan saw what David did to Goliath. Literally Jonathan’s soul bonded with David’s soul. They share…
- Same focus on God
- Similar world view
- Similar towards righteousness
2. HAVE A GREAT LOVE for EACH OTHER. Men are starved for someone who understands their situation. The Christian community (in many cases) has so branded the male/male closeness as inappropriate that men are hypersensitive about being emotionally connected to another men. (even writing this is a little uncomfortable… I must be extremely “manly”) But there can be little denying that David and Jonathan were emotionally connected (I Samuel 14-18).
- Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē) means “love” (brotherly love) in modern day Greek, such as in the term s’agapo (Σ’αγαπώ), which means “I love you”. In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of “true love” rather than the attraction suggested by “eros“. Agape is used in the biblical passage known as the “love chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13, and is described there and throughout the New Testament as sacrificial love. Agape is also used in ancient texts to denote feelings for a good meal, one’s children, and the feelings for a spouse. It can be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard. LOGOS – Software 2009.
3. SHARE COMMITMENT 1 Samuel 18:3-4 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.(Jonathan gives David his Sword and Robe signifying that they were no longer “son of the King” and “shepherd boy” but EQUALS)
- Honor – there is respect
- Equality – no one is superior to the other in the relationship
- Vulnerability – each has equal transparency
4. ARE LOYAL TO EACH OTHER – 1 Samuel 20:30-33 “Why should you kill him?” Jonathan defends David when David is not around. No doublespeak, no disloyalty or trying to manipulate for their own benefit. Loyalty is expensive. It will cost you. Being loyal places the good of someone else above your own.
5. POINT EACH OTHER TOWARDS GOD. Proverbs 17:7 “a friend loves at all times”. 1 Samuel 23:18 Helped him find strength in God. Jonathan pointed David back to God and not to some pop-psychology or trendy way of thinking. How many “friends” have given us poor advice because they were offended for us or wanted us to do something for which they lacked courage. The friend we need will point us to Jesus even when it is difficult.
6. REJOICES WHEN YOU ARE BLESSED. A real friend rejoices with you when you are blessed and encourages you when you fall. This trait is rare because so many of us are jealous when others are blessed and quickly wonder, “Why not me God?” Cultivate the ability to rejoice when someone else is blessed.
7. TO HAVE 2 AM FRIENDS, BE A 2 AM FRIEND!
I love the thoughts behind this story …. “Male friendship has reached HEAVEN when men make such promises to each other. I treasure a sacred moment when my old childhood friend, married and with family met my wife and me on vacation in the Colorado mountains and said, after a late evening meal, “If anything happened to Kent, Judy and I will look out for Barbara and the children”. It was a sacredness I gladly reciprocated.” – R Kent Hughes.