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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Implications & Applications: The Lesson of David & Jonathan

Now when 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.
I Samuel 18:1 

We live in a society ( culture ) that has been over-sexualized & over-sensualized for so long that we have accepted many things that, 100 years ago would have not only been disdained but abhorred & castigated. We live in a society where a female's most glaring attributes have become the most widely-accepted 'selling point' for everything from burgers to cars to clothes, but a women who breastfeeds her hungry child in public is castigated for it, even if she covers herself. We live in a society where the murder of children ( in the womb ) is perfectly legal & is accepted almost without compunction by many young mothers.

In reading the 'love language' in I Samuel 18 ( as above ), certain individuals have concocted an almost lurid picture of homosexual 'love'! David & Jonathan most certainly DID love each, they even made a covenant together, for God's sake! In our culture, these two friends & companions would very likely have been branded homosexuals by society, but why, when two men or two women love each other, do we always sexualize the situation? Can't two men, regardless of whether they are married or not, show their appreciation for each other, their commitment to each other, without being branded a homosexual? The same goes for women; can't we just enjoy each others company without bringing sex ( more correctly, 'sexual intercourse' ) into the equation?

Much of the reason behind the way we view these unique body parts in this society, or culture, in particular, is BECAUSE they're unique! Most males are Intelligently Designed with a certain piece of anatomy that are not present on most females. Females, on the other hand, not only have a corresponding piece of anatomy that reacts rather delightfully with man's, they also have two other unique features that serve a dual or even triple purpose. Not only are they sexual 'triggers' ( for most women ), but they are natural feeders for young children. Add to that most men seem to have an almost unnerving attraction to them & there you have it; BREASTS RULE!!!!!!!

The Media, including the Internet, has done much damage to relationships & society in general by sexualizing & sensualizing the differences between the sexes, most notably, unfortunately, the human female breast, that squishy lump of fat that sits tantalizingly on most women's chests ( to whatever extent ) & also serves as a handy dandy milk dispenser for the 'nectar of the gods'. It is hard, admittedly, to admire the beauty of the Good Creation without giving due homage to arguably the most beautiful, the biological human body, whether male or female! Now, one of the results of this over-stimulation is that certain criteria must be met for any certain body to be considered beautiful, although I must admit, this is becoming less & less the case; many people, mostly women, but men as well, are manning the trenches & battling this notion!

The Story of David & Jonathan is well-known & loved, particularly in the Christian Community, but really, for an almost universal example of what true friendship looks like. The Love of David & Jonathan had nothing to do with 'sex'; as we read above, 'the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David' & 'Jonathan loved him as his own soul'. Their Love was True, they didn't depend on their feelings to determine their friendship, rather, as we read later, 'Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul'. Although, in the course of events, we find that the Love of Jonathan & David was very advantageous to David, not only did it not give Jonathan any material advantage, it wasd rather disadvantageous for him!

What lesson ( or lessons ), then, can we take from the Story of David & Jonathan? Well, maybe the readiest is that theirs was the truest kind of friendship, the truest kind of love, a pure love! David & Jonathan did not love each other because of what they thought they could get from the other, they loved each other & made a covenant together, mostly for David's protection ( at least, that's how it seemed to work out ) & because their 'souls' were had been intertwined ( knit together ). You might say that David & Jonathan enjoyed a marriage of sorts, although Scripture gives us no hint that any kind of sexual intercourse was involved. Another lesson that we can take from this Story is that relationship need not be sexual to based in love; we should not be ashamed or afraid of our love for any friend, whether of the opposite or same sex!

The damage has been done, however; it's well-nigh impossible to interact with a certain member of the opposite sex without having to fight these feelings, thanks in large part to the over-stimulization by various media outlets! This is not to say that it's impossible though; there IS such a thing as 'self-control'. We have been programmed to think of the advantages we can gain from exploiting these God-given ( Glorious ) attributes; we can be deprogrammed to remember that this ( sex ) IS part of the Good Creation, but it is not our primary purpose. We must, with the help of the Spirit within us, reprogram ourselves to that Original Purpose, that of relationship, even same-sex, where the act of sexual intercourse has nothing to do with it, but a Pure Love without restraint, a Love Without Boundaries!

Charles Haddon Shank

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