Being a True Friend


He was the kind of friend we all wish for. His name was Jonathan, the son of King Saul and heir apparent. However, Jonathan was a loyal friend to David, the Bethlehem shepherd boy whom God had chosen to succeed Saul as king. Saul was fiercely focused on killing David; Jonathan was fiercely devoted to his friendship with David. Steadfast and single-minded, Jonathan had an unwavering commitment to David.

Don’t we all wish we had a friend like Jonathan? I call such a person a “soul” friend—a kind of friend who gives you room to vent, grieve, sort things through, question, and express emotions without judgment or betrayal. A “Jonathan” remains steadfast, a sturdy and sure support throughout the seasons of life. A “Jonathan” is needed, especially when life is hard.

Being a caregiver to someone with disabilities presents so many challenges, but, regrettably, there are very few “Jonathans” to provide care for the caregiver! Romans 12:10–16 addresses many characteristics of a “Jonathan.” If you know someone living with seemingly unbearable caregiving demands, he or she needs a “Jonathan” more than you can imagine! Read through Paul’s words, then note the qualities identified in the passage. I find thirteen:

  1. Honor
  2. Zeal
  3. Spiritual fervor
  4. Serving as unto the Lord
  5. Joyfulness
  6. Hopefulness
  7. Patience
  8. Faithfulness
  9. Hospitality
  10. Unconditional blessing
  11. Empathy
  12. Harmony
  13. Humility

In David’s life, Jonathan was essential. In our lives, “Jonathans” are essential, most especially to those with unending demands and sweeping emotional heartaches. I urge you to seek the Lord today by asking Him to lead you to someone for whom you might become a “Jonathan.” As a result, you will be used by God to give to this person invaluable help and hope.

About the author


Colleen Swindoll Thompson

Colleen Swindoll Thompson holds a bachelor of arts degree in Communication from Trinity International University as well as minors in psychology and education. Colleen serves as the director of Reframing Ministries at Insight for Living Ministries. From the personal challenges of raising a child with disabilities (her son Jonathan), Colleen offers help, hope, and a good dose of humor through speaking, writing, and counseling those affected by disability. Colleen and her husband, Toban, have five children and reside in Frisco, Texas.

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