The highest of distinctions is service to others.~King George VI
And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt. I Samuel 18:3-4
I love the topic of friendship because I have come to a point in my life where I cherish friends that challenge me and make me a better person. I love giving to my friends and being generous with my life. This doesn’t mean giving money, but giving of my time and energy to make them better people the way they make me better. I saw an incredible movie the other night that had me thinking about the topic of friendship; it’s called The Kings Speech. Which is a pun of it’s own because it could mean either talking about him giving a speech or his speech in general. The interesting fact is that King George the VI did have a stammering problem. He would try to make speeches and would come up short every time. When he would give one, it would hurt both him in embarrassment and the listener. Albert was his Christian name given to him by his family and only family was allowed to call him that. If you were a commoner, you would call him your royal highness. Lionel Logue was at first not a friend, but his speech coach. As time went on and with some disputes, they became very good friends. Lionel was with him during every speech he made during WWII. Albert was a humble king, during the war the queen and himself could have lived other places and be very secure, but they choose to stay in London and live through the bombing like all the other British commoners did. Buckingham Palace did get bombed at one point during the war while the king and queen were there. They also could have had all they wanted during the war, but choose to be a part of the rationing the rest of the country had to endure. Hence, the above quote by the king shows the type of life he lived. Lionel in the film said that what helps with stammering sometimes is to have a good friend to listen to you. Lionel saw greatness in Albert, worked on encouraging that out of him, and gave Albert the courage to give great speeches that the masses needed to hear during the war. I cannot say for sure that their friendship was a soul tie, but I can say that if a king can make a friend of a commoner, there was something special there.
King David and Jonathan are a biblical example of the soul tie. A soul tie is a forged godly friendship that God brings together. God selects this friend for you and you and this person are bonded together as very close friends. You feel each other’s pain and you suffer with each other through life. It’s iron sharpens iron on steroids, you are there to help each other. It’s not a marriage, which is a soul mate, this is different. Jonathan offered David 5 things from his person. Now I am no biblical scholar, but I have some ideas as to what each of these items meant. The first item Jonathan gave David was his robe. I would guess the robe that he gave him was royal and this was saying that David had authority over Jonathan’s life. A soul tie means you think of yourself less than you think of your friend. Being humble in spirit is a mutual thing that will bring you close.
The next item he gave him was his tunic. A tunic is a shirt that covers. When he gave David this, it is as if to say, I got you covered. I have you covered in prayer, covered in protection, covered in reputation, covered all around. When you cover each other, your back is to each other in the battlefield of life and you can cover your friend. The best part of a soul tie is God having both of your backs. What a powerful combination.
The next item Jonathan gave David was his sword. This is an extension of the tunic; it means I have you covered aggressively if I have to. It’s protection from whatever may come up against you my brother. It says I will defend your honor; I will protect you from your enemy’s because your enemy is my enemy. The sword of the spirit speaks life into people; it’s not an instrument of death.
The next item the bow goes along with the tunic and sword because I think of it as representing prayer. Back in ancient times, the enemy was softened by a fusillade of arrows shot at them in the hopes that not all the shields will be covering parts of the enemy soldiers. I think of prayers that we send up for our close friends as a way of softening the enemy’s attacks on them. We are after all in a major spiritual battle.
The last item he gave David was his belt. The belt holds all of the other items together to bring him balance when fighting the enemy. Without the belt, there will be no place to put the bow or the sword. The tunic may get in the way during the battle. The belt is listed last because it’s important, it holds everything together. You can really think of this as the Word of God. It holds everything together and brings balance to our lives.
The difference between a soul tie and a soul mate is the level of intimacy in the friendship. There are clear borders in a soul tie, but in a soul mate, there are no limitations. God may have blessed you in having your soul tie be your soul mate, it all depends on who you are, and how God wants to work in your life. The biggest thing we can take from this is that God wants the best for our lives and so he provides a soul tie for all of us. The question is are you willing to have a close and deep friendship or are you afraid of getting close to someone and getting hurt? I think many miss close friendships because they don’t want to be open hearted and see how God can use other people to bless them. It might mean being real and showing ourselves vulnerable. A soul tie is being humble, covering your friend, protecting your friend, praying for your friend, and keeping in the word with your friend to make you an unbeatable team in this spiritual battle called life.
© [David Howard], [David's Body Temple], 2011-2015.