Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Relationships: Kindred Spirit

Relationship here for an overview.


So we have been discussing relationships. In the last couple of posts we have been discussing friends in general. This post is dedicated to some one that we would call a best friend. Someone that you have a deeper affection for more than your other friends. This could be someone of the same sex or someone of the opposite sex, but is necessarily a boyfriend or girlfriend. We will get to them in the next post.

I can think of no better example of what a kindred spirit should be than David and Jonathan in the Bible. These were two men that had a deep affection for one another. They were committed to each other and committed to God. They are a perfect example of the deeply satisfying relationships that we can have without any hint of romance being involved. Today in our society David and Jonathan's relationship could easily be misconstrued as a homoerotic relationship or a "bromance" at the very least. Which again is very sad. Society has sexualized everything to the point that it seems almost impossible to think of being friends with someone with no sexualization involved! The devil is stealing what would otherwise be a deeply satisfying, affectionate, non-sexual relationship. It doesn't have to be this way folks. Let's look at what the bible says.

I am going to just methodically go through the verses in the Bible concerning these two and see what we can learn from them. But a bit of background first. Jonathan is the son of King Saul. He is a bit older than David. Jonathan has already been fighting in the army against the Philistines for his father's kingdom. Saul is no longer in relationship with God. So God anoints David to be the next king, unbeknownst to Saul. Saul has fear of the Philistines and Jonathan knows it. David is placed in the service of Saul as an armour bearer. David shows courage and defeats Goliath the Philistine in the presence of Saul and Jonathan.

"Now when he{David} has finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." 1 Sam 18:1

After David's show of courage and strength in the Lord Jonathan feels an immediate connection with him. The connection of spirit is a righteous one because it is based on the truth and principles of God. Jonathan can see the the Lord is with David as opposed to his own father. So he connects with David instead. Remember in the last post we talked about having a spiritual connection with someone. We want our spirit to connect to a persons righteousness not character weakness.

"Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword, and his bow and his belt." 1 Sam 18:3-4

The men make a covenant with each other to define their commitment to one another. Jonathan who is royalty gives David, a poor shepherd boy things that he will need. He is showing love in action by provided for David material things that he was lacking.

"Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son, and all his servants, that they should kill David; but Jonathan delighted greatly in David. So Jonathan told David saying "My father Saul seeks to kill you. Therefore please be one your guard until morning and stay in a secret place and hide."
1 Sam 19:1-2

Jonathan stays true to his commitment to David. He warns David about his fathers malice and tell him to hid. Notice that Jonathan does not stay with David in hiding. Jonathan goes back home.

"And Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul..." 1 Sam 19:4

No gossip, no slander, not two faced. Jonathan did not falter, he stayed true in support to his friend.

"And Jonathan said to David, "Come let us go out into the field." And they both went out into the field." 1 Sam 20:11

They were not doing anything in secret that could be misconstrued. They were open before men and before the Lord.

"So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "May the Lord call David's enemies to account." And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself." 1 Sam 20:16

In the open field their commitment is made before God. The covenant is not just to the man it to his house. {David was married at this time.} Jonathan is praying for David and interceding on his behalf. They are both on the same page as to what their expectations are of one another.

"Why should he{David} be put to death? What has he done?" Jonathan asked his father. But Saul hurled a spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David...and he was grieved at his father's shameful treatment of David." 1 Sam 20:32-34

Jonathan continues to seek justice for David. He supports his friend even unto possible death at the hand of Saul. He is hurt that his friend is being treated in such a way. So he stands up for his friend.

"And they kissed one another; and they wept together. But David more so. Then Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, 'May the Lord be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.'"
1 Sam 20:41-42

They have deep empathy for one another in what they are facing together with regards to Saul. They embrace one another, weep together and identify with each other. They do not allow the hard time to destroy their relationship. They remind each other of the promise to each other and to God.

"And Jonathan, Saul's son, arose and went to David in the wood and helped him find strength in God." 1 Sam 23:16

They are not only relying on each other for strength, they are relying on God. When one has lost faith, they other helps him back into trusting God's faithfulness.

When he hears of Jonathan's death...
"I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." 2 Sam 1:26

David is terribly grieved at the death of his most kindred spirit. They shared a deep affection and commitment for one another that was deeper than any of David's other relationships. At the time of Jonathan's death David had been betrothed to three different women! Saul had promised one daughter{Merab} to him and then changed his mind. Then Saul gave him another one of his daughters{Michal} whom David did in fact marry. Although Saul changed his mind again and took her back as well. Then Saul had her marry someone else. After all of that David married Abigail. So it is safe to say that David was much closer to Jonathan compared to the "passing love of women"!

What I hope you will see in this relationship is a deep affection that is rooted in Christ. Jonathan choose wisely as to who he should allow himself to be connected in spirit with. It was a connection to mutual righteousness as opposed to character weakness. They honored one another and stood up for one another at all costs. They were open with one another about where their commitment stood. They made a point to encourage on another in the Lord. They did not allow negative influence to corrupt their relationship. They were also honest about their expectations from one another. When a promise was made they followed through.

This is what a kindred spirit should be. We can and should have deep affection for friends of the same sex and the opposite sex. So don't feel bad if you have deep affection for someone but have no romantic intentions. It is healthy to have these relationships. We need to develop non romantic relationships; so that when we do become invovled with someone romantically we can still be friends with other people.  Have you ever noticed that a chronic dater has no friends?  Because every friendship has been a sexual exploit and now all they have is a bunch of pissed off ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends.  They don't know how to just be friends with someone.  They don't know how to stick through the tough times with someone.  So if all we are concerned about is the physcial we never develop the deep personal connection that we should.

I personally believe that it's best to be a kindred spirit with someone before tou even concider being romantically involved. Then the romantic feeling develop out of a deep spiritual connection to someone.  But be sure that the other person is on the same page as far as your emotions go. Also be sure that your friendship does not step outside the bounds of God's truth. If we are only concerned about outward appearance or sexual attraction we cheat ourselves and lay a poor foundation for a long lasting commitment. Let the friendship grow first and teach you what it means to be committed to someone.

Next we will discuss what happens when a kindred spirit becomes a love interest.

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