Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
A Covenant Friendship
Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines a covenant as a "formal, solemn, and binding agreement" and an "agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action." A covenant turns something ordinary into something very special. It is not an act that should be taken lightly.
A covenant relationship existed between Jonathan and David because Jonathan "loved him as his own soul." The word translated "loved" in the original language means "to have an affection for." This was not a sexual relationship, as some misguided people erroneously claim. Instead, it was a friendship rooted in a deep admiration for each other and sealed with a solemn agreement. According to this covenant, no matter what happened David and Jonathan would remain friends. Their relationship was a loyal commitment to look out for each other's welfare.
Today, friendship is approached with a very casual attitude. Friendships are made and broken as the need arises. They are no more substantial than the fizz from a can of pop. It's no wonder that leading psychologists and therapists estimate that only 10 percent of men in the United States have any real friends. It's a shame that we struggle with issues of loneliness while all along God's Word sets forth examples of committed friends like David and Jonathan.
While it's not possible to have a covenant relationship with every friend, ask God to show you a friend who could be more than a casual acquaintance. And remember, if you want to have a friend, you need to be a friend (Prov. 18:24). Establish a covenant friendship in which you commit to look out for each other's welfare.
No person is more alone than he who is without a friend.