I think it’s important to answer the “why?” question before we go out and form covenants with people. Should we form a covenant because we go to the same church or because we’re part of the same ministry?
Should it be based on proximity — if you’re a Christian in my town is that enough to form a covenant relationship?
Or are these foundations too shallow to build such meaningful relationships on?
In my quiet time this morning I was reading 1 Samuel 18 and in it Jonathan and Davide make a covenant. Here’s what it says (verses 1-3):
“And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house.
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.”
So in this situation the Bible answers the “why?” — the motive — behind this covenant. Verse 3 says it was “because he loved him,” so we learn that love was the motivation for their covenant relationship.
It didn’t say, “Jonathan perceived it would be wise to form a strategic alliance with David.” But how many times do we try to form covenant like relationships with others because it “makes sense?” The wisdom of the world teaches that relationships should be formed only when both parties will benefit from it. ‘You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ kind of mentality.
But God’s ways are so different than ours. Love takes the place of practicality and efficiency.
What would happen if our churches started to be filled with these Jonathan-and-David like covenant relationships? Do you think church would be better off or does it make more “sense” to center church around programs and what is most efficient?
And I realize it doesn’t have to be either or (programs or covenant relationships). But I do believe one will take priority over the other and I think we all know which one should come first but what we don’t know is how to do it. Lord please help us.
About Josh Monen
Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.
Pertinent question. I suspect that we will find less obstacles filling our communities with these kind of relationships than our churches. The relationships in the churches will be the byproducts of relationships in our neighborhoods.
Thank you Curtis. So you believe there are more “obstacles” to making covenant relationships in church vs with our neighbors? Could you provide some examples of these obstacles and maybe ways to overcome them? Thanks!
Josh! I read your story on covenant! Great point “love”
is the key to a covenant relationship!
Thanks Bruce. Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, love is the key!
Thanks for your insights! I’ve been researching covenant relationships for a book we’re writing and your posts have been very helpful.
Hey Corrine, I’m glad they’re helping you. That’s cool you’re writing a book about covenant relationships! When’s it going to be available to purchase?