One of the greatest example of brotherhood is told in the Old Testament. The story of Jonathan and David. Every time I read this story I learn something more. It truly is a great story of friendship and brotherhood. Both Jonathan and David were men of goodness and integrity. I love how they both loved God and strived to serve him in all ways. We know that they were not perfect men, but they were men who strived to be good in all things.
The reason the story is so touching to me is the love that is evident between these two men. From the start they shared a wonderful protective friendship. If you think about it for a moment Jonathan had every reason to resent David. Jonathan was the crowned prince and destined to rule when his father died. His wiliness to follow the Lord is so evident when he stepped aside and not only supported David but protected him with his life on many occasions.
David expressed once that his love for Jonathan was “sweeter” than his love for women. We know David loved women. He had many wives and even had one man sent to battle to die so he could have his wife. I love the scriptures use of the word sweeter. There are many words that could have been used, but I marvel that the word sweeter is used. Sweeter is to me a spiritual word. The sweetness of the Spirit, etc. It denotes goodness and not lust or unhealthy desire.
There are those that would say this story of a perfect example of homosexual love. I disagree completely. These are both men that loved the Lord with all their hearts. And from what Jonathan teaches, they placed the Lord in the middle. Jonathan stated many times to David, “The Lord is between me and thee”. They honored God and kept his commandments. I believe that Jonathan kept David on the path. He strengthened him and supported him and saved his life many times. David’s greatest mistakes happened later in life after Jonathan had died. My personal belief is that David never would have crossed the line if Jonathan had been there. That is what true friendship is all about. Keeping each other in line at all times, what ever the cost or sacrifice.
They are a great example of what brothers can become. In our culture we are obsessed with looking for the one. That one man or brother and in looking for the one we cut off many other opportunities to connect with many other brothers that could be of great support to us. Jonathan and David is a great example of two men loving each other and finding true brotherhood in the friendship. They were not lovers. They understood that there can be a sweetness in a friendship. The secret to their success is placing the Lord in the middle.
As we search for brotherhood in our own personal lives we need to place the Lord in the Middle. Not just by mouth, but by our actions. Meaning that true brotherhood is not found in looking for lovers. Looking for Brothers can exceed our greatest exceptions in connections in our lives as long as we place the Lord in the middle.
Placing the Lord in the middle takes away the sexual, lustful, unhealthy desires and replaces those with feelings of connection, love, and respect. In the process building friendships that are lasting and strengthening to each other. When we place the Lord in the middle we think more about the other person then our own personal desires and wants. We desire the very best for those we connect with and want the sweetness to grow and blossom into a friendship where we truly can say, “The Lord is between me and thee”.
If we would spend as much time looking and building brotherhood and not looking for lovers or the one, our lives would overflow with joy. God truly desires his sons to build brotherhoods of goodness and sweetness. In placing the Lord in the middle we can pray for those men of likemindedness to be brought into our lives. As we seek the Lords direction in looking for brothers great things can and will happen. What a great example Jonathan has set for us in teaching us “the Lord is between me and thee”. As is place the Lord in the middle I find great brotherhood in so many places.
In my search for true brotherhood, I really have no need for lovers, only brothers.
The Lord is between me and thee.