Covenant friendship is one of heaven’s greatest blessings. I believe it was Michael Smith who said, “friends are friends forever if the Lord is the Lord of them.” We catch glimpses of it, between Ruth and Naomi. “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” (Ruth 1:16, 17).
The chemistry is undeniable between David and Jonathan. “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. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. (1 Samuel 18:1-3 ESV)
There are many more examples in the bible about this kind of friendship, but I will mention just a few more here:
- Job and friends (Job 2:11)
- Elisha and Elisha (2 Kings 2:2
- The Paralytic and his friends (Luke 5:17-19)
Let me Illustrate it this way:
We’ve watched many movies together as a family. Some of our favorites, we’ve watched three to four-time. But there is one that we keep watching over and over. In it, we discover the friendship between Sam and Frodo. We’ve memorized lines like these: “You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin – to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours – closer than you yourself keep it. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo.” Powerful, isn’t it? True friendship means following the example of Jesus and truly giving your whole self to the relationship.
Did you know that Jesus wants to be your very best friend?
He gave us the true definition of what covenant friendship is all about. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” He’s already given his life for us. His love is unconditional. His love never ends. His love is patient and kind. His love is not irritable or resentful; arrogant or rude. Therefore, His relationship with us should mirror our relationship with others.
What does Covenant Friendship really look like?
It is a Gut level honesty, authenticity and vulnerability
This is a button of the barrel openness – where the ugly stuff lie. Too many friendships lack this.Too many times friends project a fake version of themselves. When we hide behind our masks, we damage our soul. Pretending does a lot of damage to the soul. In a covenant friendship you can share anything, confess to anything and yet not be judge, maliciously exposed or rejected. On the contrary, you will find grace, protection, prayer. Oh yeah, you will get some tough love, but love that does not lose respect for the other, or treat them like they are worthless.
Covenant Friendships Thrive on:
- Truth telling/ prov. 27:6
- Commitment/ prov. 18:24
- Sacrifice/John 15:12-15
- Love, no matter what/ Rom. 5:7-8
Covenant friendships Deepen when the friendship is:
- Other centered/ Luke 6:31
- Edifying, Nourishing, growing, making other better/ Prov. 27:7
- Valuable/ Phil. 4:14-16
- Agreeable/ Amos 3:3
Covenant Friendships last and stand the test of time – through:
- Mutual respect
- Unconditional forgiveness
- Constant companionship, and
- Covenant faithfulness
Yes, it was Michael Smith who said, “friends are friends forever – “because the welcome will not end.”