Finding Friendship after College

After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.”
1 Samuel 18:1-3, NIV
Long gone are the days where friendships are easily made over whom we share snacks within preschool or because we’re in the same dorm in college or in the same classes. While some of us (myself included) are lucky enough to make deep friendships in our places of work, many of us are not: we’re self-employed, those around us have different values or there’s just no chemistry.

I often say that finding friends after the age of 25 is a lot like dating. Friends rarely just fall into our lives – we must seek them out. We must take risks, do new things, invite them out for coffee and it can be nerve-wracking and awkward. We often don’t have the social lubricants that include shared classes, the lunch table or recess.

There is so much to learn about friendship through the heroes and heroines of Scripture: Ruth and Naomi, Timothy and Paul, Elijah and Elisha, Martha and Jesus, and many more. Each of them has something different to teach us, but I consider the epitome of good advice to be the words in Samuel where Jonathan and David’s friendship is cemented. When was the last time you really committed in friendship to someone? Swore a covenant with them? Promised to love and uphold them forever? Aside from in your marriage …

Our culture has made friendship something more of convenience, and I think we have overlooked the deep Biblical models of friendship for something altogether flimsier. Jonathan went to great lengths to protect David from his father Saul, even though David had taken his princely inheritance and would be the next King of Israel. David looked after Jonathan’s children long after he was dead – it is a costly, wholehearted friendship with deep foundations.

We may only have one or two friendships like this in a lifetime – but in all our friendships, whether for a season or for life, there is a call to be sacrificial, loving and purposeful. Ask God today where you should be prioritizing a friend or growing in commitment to those you are blessed to have in your life.
The Rev. Jane P. Ferguson
Associate for Student and Family Ministries
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