Covenant Friendships



~*~This is for the friend in my left * …still RorD…~*~

I haven’t written a long post in a good while, I hope you all enjoy!

Earlier this week, I was talking with someone about covenant friendships. What you may find interesting about that is the person who I was discussing this with is someone who I thought was exactly that kind of a friend to me. Sadly, this person has become not just an adversary, but an enemy…not by my choice, but their own free will. In case you were wondering why I used both adversary and enemy to describe what this person has decided to become to me, I use these terms because an adversary is “a person who is hostile towards someone“, while an enemy is defined as “one who feels hatred toward and intends injury to“. Yes. Pretty serious stuff.

But, let’s back up…some of you may be wondering what exactly IS a covenant friendship? Before I get into the definition, it’s important that you know that anytime the word “covenant” is used, it is almost always referring to something in the spiritual realm. A covenant friend is not just a friend whom you like; what you feel in your heart for this person is that God ordained you to love this person unconditionally. I freely admit that this kind of non-romantic love for another human being can be challenging to maintain because this friendship will surely be tested – the fire of adversity tests friendships and you MUST go through trials as friends (maybe a few, perhaps many, and maybe one huge trial) before the friendship completely qualifies as a covenant friendship…unconditional love that is freely given without an agenda is the foundation that gets you through those trials together.

As for the covenant part, a covenant is very similar to a contract, but is much more serious. The covenant is what binds you to your friend. A contract is an agreement between two people that is legally binding, whereas a covenant is an agreement between two people that is binding by God. Marriage is the primary covenant next to God and friendship is the next important covenant. If people who were married practiced covenant friendships BEFORE they married one another, we’d have a much lower divorce rate because they would have already understood the practice of keeping covenants.

Realize that when someone who you thought shared this unconditional love with you becomes an enemy means that you falsely identified them as a friend because God’s standard of friendship wasn’t used by one of the parties involved or perhaps both of the parties involved. We are taking the word “friend” and “friendship” too lightly and applying them to people who really are either acquaintances or associates. The standard for covenant friendship from the biblical perspective is a personal relationship between two people where there is a God ordained covenant, unconditional love, reciprocal giving, and mutual trust – now sometimes, the two of you may disagree and even falter from the giving and/or the trust, but the LOVE sustains you in the end. How many of us really have friends who meet this standard? God takes friendship so seriously that He called only TWO people in the Bible His friend: Abraham and Moses. And there is a wonderful biblical demonstration of covenant friendship in the relationship between Jonathan and David; they overcame social barriers, and Jonathan’s father, King Saul, hated David, but the fact that this friendship had to be hidden didn’t stop Jonathan from being a friend and loving David, Jonathan made it known that he would lay down his life for David, and the same sentiment was reciprocated by David for Jonathan. They survived very strong arguments which could probably break up friendships that don’t include unconditional loving. When Jonathan died in battle with his father, David took Jonathan’s son and raised him as his own.

If you want to know how to be a true covenant friend, do your best to follow these steps:
1. Affirm one another
2. Be available to one another (in proper relation to commitments to marriage and family)
3. Pray with and for each other
4. Be open with each other
5. Choose to always relate to one another in honesty
6. Choose to relate to one another with sensitivity
7. Choose to relate to one another with confidentiality
8. Be accountable to one another
Keeping those eight promises provides the safety, security and foundation for a purpose driven friendship.

So, let’s get back to me for a moment and what compelled me to write this post. I lost someone who I thought I shared a covenant friendship with. I’m not going to sit here and imply that I was a perfect friend to this person because I wasn’t. I did many things that were awful, including betraying this person. Whatever “damage control” they feel they might need to do with regard to their life and do to me as a result of what I did to them, I’m okay with it. The thing that bothers and hurts me is that when this same person betrayed me very recently and asked me for forgiveness and to continue the friendship, I did, even though it was difficult for me because I felt lied to and I felt completely in the dark and betrayed. But I still loved this person, I still felt the exact same way that I did when we first met and became friends: that God put us in each others path for a reason and He put a special kind of love for this person in my heart that I can’t shake…it is an unconditional love that no matter what has happened, I can’t stop loving them, and I am not talking about romantic love, I am talking about Phileo and Storge love. So do I now behave like an enemy and an adversary towards this person because that is what they have chosen to be to me, in addition to ending their part in the “friendship”? Because they want to delete me from their life and also punish me for something that I did to them which was definitely and absolutely wrong in every sense of the word, should I retaliate and give back fire for fire? No, I can’t do that. I certainly did want to do that for a few days, but that is the wrong choice for me. Just because this person did not and does not feel/practice covenant friendship for me doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t practice what I know God gave me. And I wish I could say that I’m sorry for what I did because I am, but saying it, and asking for forgiveness hasn’t ever seemed to completely work for this person in regards to our “friendship” – hey, this person doesn’t even read my blog; they probably don’t remember it even exists. (sad face) Yet…I refuse to dishonor all of the happy times, the meals we shared and sometimes cooked, the late night conversations, fun excursions, the support that was given – they were hard for me to remember over the past few days because I was so angry, but I won’t invalidate what I know I felt and still do feel. And at the end of the day, I have to answer 2 questions: 1. What would Jesus do? and 2. Do I allow my anger towards someone to affect my relationship with God? And the answer is: 1. Jesus wouldn’t retaliate against a friend – He says we are to love, even when it’s difficult to do so, and 2. No, I can’t allow anyone or my anger to affect my relationship with God because He is watching all the choices I make, and I refuse to make choices that I know I will regret and feel sorry for in the future, and at the end of the day, He is the person that I have to account to for my actions – even though I would have also liked to be accountable to the former friend in this situation so that amends could be made. And those two things are the lessons that I believe I needed to learn in this situation…I realize that this is another one of life’s tests. Therefore, I know in my heart that I can practice covenant friendship and unconditional love for this person without this person’s participation, and that is exactly what I am going to do going forward, in/with my silence – and my reward will not come from her/him, but from God – He knows how easy it is to love when things are good, and how difficult it is (yet the most rewarding) to practice love when things between people are….horrible…that’s a good word to describe things. But, grace, by it’s very definition means to give something willingly and lovingly even when a person may not deserve that graceful act – that is how God loves us – He willingly chose to love us when we didn’t deserve to have His love; God=Graceful.

To all of you who read my blog – I’m taking some time off. I promise to come back refreshed, with a clear mind, and ready to write again – I might even feel motivated by something and stop in to write something briefly. While I’m gone, please continue to write to me and/or ask me questions using the “Contact me” form- I will reply, I just need to take a break from social media, including that dreaded “FaceBook”. (smiling)

My last thought that ties this all together: To have an acquaintance is nice, to have a friend is great. To have someone whom you can talk with about whatever is on your heart is awesome. BUT…

…To be known for who you really and truly are as a person (most of your flaws are known) and still be accepted and loved….now THAT is divine. Isn’t that the kind of friend we should all strive to be?
Remember:
“A friend loveth at all times.” Proverbs 17:17. “An honest answer is the sign of true friendship.” Proverbs 24:26. “A friend means well even when they hurt you.” Proverbs 27:6. And don’t forget your friends with whom you share history! “Forsake not an old friend for the new is not comparable to him; a new friend is like new wine, and when friendship is old, you will drink it with pleasure.” Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 9:10.
~*~Special note: Many thanks to my father, Vanessa, and to Jeanine, who helped to “check me” spiritually and remind me that I need to behave in love no matter what, and especially when I say I FEEL love, as that is God’s expectation of me, even when I wasn’t ready to hear any of that while I was in my anger!

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14 Responses to “Covenant Friendships”

  1. apple ipad future…

    Just want to say your article is astounding. The clarity in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this field. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with incoming post. Thanks a milli…

    • I just re-posted this today and am realizing that I never said thank you for your comment and the compliment…thank you so, SO much, and, yes, of course about the rss feed! 🙂

  2. Dialma Maldonado Says:

    Thank you! This was very helpful to me. I am going through a similar situation and must admit that i still feel angry to an extent and don’t know how to let go.

    • You’re welcome, Dialma, and thank you for reading and for your comment – I hope that you find peace about your situation very soon.

  3. Just happen to run across this Blog, I am glad I did what a word regarding Covenant Friends. I absolutely love it.

  4. After reading this,i pray and hope to revive an old friendship. Covenant friendship is indeed rare but it exists.

    • Yes, covenant friendships exist but are indeed rare as you say. Thank you for commenting, Loise. I hope your old friendship is reconciled.

  5. Hi. I found your blog while searching for information on covenant friendships. I realize this is an old entry. I hope things are better with you and your friend. I seek covenant friendship however I feel like in today’s society it seems impossible. Even if I were capable of that kind of love towards another person it seems like there aren’t maybe people in this world that would be capable of returning it. Also, it seems like most people would just think you are crazy and obsessed with them and not truly appreciate the love God has given you for them.

  6. God had me to stumble across this article today for a reason. God bless you and thank you for being obedient and posting this powerful message.

  7. Hello! I, too, found your blog while searching for information on covenant friendship. Thank you for sharing your insight.

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