So when I first presented this blog title to my husband, his expression was immediate. I don’t recall his coming words, but his pointed look said it all, “...Jonathan? Heck no. Jonathan WHO?!”
I figure you may be thinking the same thing. So I’ll get straight to the point. My marriage is literally the most intimate relationship that I’ll ever experience. There’s a reason why Scripture states that a husband and wife are to become one.
My husband and I are literally one flesh in the eyes of God. This is why divorce is problematic. It’s interesting that this term “one flesh” is used between husband and wife and not between siblings, nor between parent and child, nor between the closest of friends.
So I say without reservation that my husband is my bestie, my partner, my covering, my love, and my heart.
And yet even still, with me marrying the sexiest man on this planet, a man who provides and dies to himself daily for myself and our family, a man who encourages me to flourish in my passions and pursuits…even my husband believes that I still need my Jonathan in order to live the abundant life that Christ has granted me.
"As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt."
2 Samuel 18:1-4
Quick context: Saul was King of Israel.. Saul’s son was Jonathan. So the next in line to be king was technically...who? Jonathan.
But the Lord anointed some shepherd boy that no one knew of to be King. His name was David. Funny enough, Jonathan became friends with the very one who was anointed to take his father’s kingdom from him. Not once did David’s anointing make Jonathan jealous. In fact, Jonathan did everything in his power to ensure that David became king. To add to this soap opera, Jonathan’s father, Saul, knew the Lord had anointed David to become king and wanted to kill David. But guess what? Jonathan protected David. David could have easily been killed by Saul, if not for the friendship, loyalty, and brotherhood between Jonathan and David.
So again, why do I share these verses?
My husband is my closest friend, my partner, my covering, my love, and my heart...and yet, I still need godly friendships with other women in order to flourish as a child of God.
My Jonathan is not one person but a tribe of women who hold me accountable, rebuke me when necessary, advise me when I don’t want to listen, empathize with me when I simply need to hear, “Awwww...really? That’s hard,” and encourage my giftings without jealousy.
We as women need one another. But more than that, we need select (very select) women in our inner circles in order to flourish as individuals.
My husband is uhmazing! And yet still, homegirl needs my one friend who can tell me point-blankly when I need to go apologize to my husband because I was out of pocket.
My other friend who listens, with quiet poise, to my struggles and has a way of asking one question that can make me change the course of my thinking (even after the phone conversation ends).
My other friend who allows me to confess my sin and prays for me, without dismissing what I have to say by saying, “Girl, it’s okay!”...when it isn’t.
My mom who has a way of letting me know that I’ll get through “whatever” because she did. My sisters who can tell me, without disclaimers, when I’m in a bad mood or being nitpicky or need to change clothes. I could seriously go on and on.
My Jonathan also comes in the form of different groups. I go to a dope bible study group that is filled with Spirit-filled women who allow me to glean freely from their revelations from the Word. I go to an awesome Moms group that has women who love God and have more kids, more experience, and more funny stories to share about crazy dinner times, potty training, meltdowns, and weight loss goals.
The point is this... I need other women in my life. And you do too. Not only that, other women need you.
If you don’t have what I just described don’t get discouraged—pray for one. This was my prayer a couple of years ago when first moving to Chicago. I knew I needed sisters to walk alongside with and women whose footsteps I could follow. But after a year, I looked around and saw surface friendships at best. Despite my best efforts, things weren’t going in the direction that I’d envisioned.
That’s until my husband, Evan, told me to simply pray for deeper friendships. And so I prayed. Honestly, that was my first time praying for that. And the Lord brought women into my life in the most unexpected of ways. It wasn’t instantaneous. It took time and faith. But in time, God answered that prayer. Why? Because I believe the Lord takes pleasure in his children being in healthy community. King David didn’t just have Jonathan. In certain seasons he had a Samuel, a Nathan, an Ittai, a Hushai, etc. And each relationship looked different but was just what the other needed in that season.
PonderedThought: Who are your Jonathans in your life? Are you nurturing,investing, and praying over those relationships? Take time to think about these Jonathans and begin prioritizing these persons or groups. You need them, and they need you, more than you think. If you don't have any, ask yourself “why?” and pray that your relationships with other godly women grow more deeply.