A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24

Who would ever have dreamed we would go through a prolonged season, hunkered down at home, forced to avoid contact with others?

One thing we learned for sure, isolation really stinks!

We need face-to-face conversation with those we love. To be able to see the sorrow in their eyes and hear the pain in their words as you silently listen. To sit by their side and softly answer, “This is so hard, so I came. I am here.” To place a gentle arm around weary shoulders, and offer a handkerchief while tears fall.

But sadly, and all too often, communication is reduced to a briefly texted, “I’m praying for you” followed with a heart and praying-hands emoji.

Deep community has been replaced with small talk. Connected, soul-baring relationships have been reduced to text threads and the occasional night out together.

Is this all that friendship and community was meant to be? I don’t think so—make that I know so! God certainly intends for us to have deep, loving friendships.


Ideal friendship

When I look in Scripture, one ideal friendship jumps out above all the others, David and Jonathan. Their deepest conversations and inner feelings are recorded there for us to read. The Bible does not back away from the fact that David and Jonathan had deep love for each other, and that love was not, as some say, weird in any way. It was philia—friendship love, that is rare, powerful, and so precious.

I have heard that on average, we maintain some degree of connection with 150 people at any given time in life, but only about twelve are people we consider to be personal friends. Of those twelve, two or three might be considered “besties”. When it comes to lifetime friendships, the deepest level of love and commitment is rare.

When I read of the philia friendship between Jonathan and David, I think the reason it was so rich is because they were united in the pursuit of something beyond themselves. It was a passion that had captured them first, as individuals. That common bond was a deep devotion to pursuing God and His glory. When each one recognized this virtue in the other, it forged their friendship into an unbreakable bond.


A shared bond

If you have ever experienced this kind of friendship, you know how powerful it can be. It is a bond shared because of our love for Christ and His call on our lives. It is a friendship that is closer to agape love than any friendship can be without it.

The concept of agape love was something Greek philosophers discussed and they had some amazing ideas, but this love truly became a reality in the Church and in the lives of first-century Christians. Friendships that transcended race, social status and even gender at a time when people were divided by these things.

As Christians, we know God’s agape love, and that love is best shown by Jesus, giving and loving and sacrificing Himself for us on the cross. This love, in the person of Jesus Christ living inside of our hearts, has the power to transform all our relationships as He makes us more and more a reflection of Him.



Life is messy, girlfriends. And even in the middle of the messiest moments, we are called to be a community of people with a mission—to delight in God, delight in each other, and seek to bring this message of redemption and reconciliation to the world.

We are meant to live in community, not just for ourselves. We are continually inviting others into the family of God. Or we should be!

I am praying for us. Do pray for each other. And pray especially for those walking through life alone, desperately searching for community.

This kind of friendship is not fickle or self-centered. It is a sticky friendship that stays close and serves others. It moves us out of ourselves to give of ourselves.

Our common bond is our love for Christ. True philia friendship will thrive as we grow in proportion to our pursuit of loving God first, learning God’s Word together, and living it out in community with each other.