1. Growing up, who was your “best friend”? (Still in touch?) In your circle of friends today, is there anyone you trust as much—even with your life?


After David killed Goliath, King Saul invited him into his household. David and Saul’s son Jonathan became fast friends. Saul was influenced by evil spirits which compelled Saul to kill David. Saul made several unsuccessful attempts on David’s life, thus keeping David on the run. David was saved from Saul’s efforts to kill him through the help and intercession of family and friends.

God’s Story

Have someone read aloud 1 Samuel 20:1-42. Or—as it is a long passage—have someone narrate, someone read Jonathan’s lines, a third person read David’s lines, and a fourth read Saul’s lines.

Finding My Story in God’s Story

2. Imagine you are another family member silently witnessing what is unfolding before your eyes. As you’re watching this interaction, what are your strongest feelings? … anger? …sorrow? … confusion.  When do you start feeling them?

3. Have you ever done something good for someone only to have them criticize your efforts? Why do you think they reacted this way?

  1. They are selfish bums who just don’t get me.
  2. Perhaps they were distracted and couldn’t see clearly how I was trying to help.
  3. In retrospect, I failed to consider their point of view or intention.
  4. No good deed goes unpunished.
  5. Other __________.

4. With loyal supportive relationships, David outwitted and outlasted Saul. Regarding your family and friends, do any actively look out for you to the point of taking personal risks?

  1. Ah, the term “Fair Weather Friends” comes to mind!
  2. I wish I had friends and family who cared beyond my mom and grandma.
  3. I have a good friend, but I’m not sure how far he would go for me if the risk was high.
  4. My small group is a Band of Brothers who help each other when the going gets tough!
  5. Other __________.


5. Sometimes men find it easier to lean on understanding women rather than take the risk of making real, intimate friends with other men. What is your take on this?

  1. Women listen better and understand complex emotions—my wife especially.
  2. I have both men and women with whom I share my life—the more the better.
  3. It doesn’t seem right to turn to women friends, but I don’t have a close buddy, either.
  4. I have intentionally developed a trusting relationship with a few other men.
  5. Other __________.

6. Think about family relationships for a minute. Saul acted as the Hothead and Jonathan as the Peacemaker. In your own family relationships which of the following types fit you?

  1. Caretaker
  2. Lost kid
  3. Peacemaker
  4. Mediator
  5. Listener
  6. Scapegoat
  7. Comforter
  8. Clown
  9. Crisis Maker
  10. Problem Solver
  11. Other __________.

7. Jonathan took some big risks to protect David and suffered hard consequences. What experience have you gone through that’s similar to Jonathan’s?

  1. Disinherited by Dad for disobeying a direct order.
  2. A position or promotion lost at work or in the family biz.
  3. I can’t think of one that’s anything like Jonathan’s.
  4. Almost losing my life when I ….
  5. Other __________.

8. Consider an instance when you tried to do something helpful but faced a personal attack. What did you do THEN and what would you do differently NOW, considering this study?

  1. When attacked, I give it right back. Don’t mess with me!
  2. I avoid all conflicts, but not so sure that turned out so well for me.
  3. Like Jonathan, I can reason with angry people, without having to defend myself.
  4. I pray first, rely on Holy Spirit, then use my call-a-friend lifeline before I do anything else.
  5. Other __________.

Our Story

9 Jonathan and David shared deeply, supported, and trusted each other, and took big risks. As you consider the men in your life, what’s keeping you from developing a Jonathan-David friendship?

  1. Tried that once and got burned. My ‘friend’ turned on me.
  2. I don’t know where I can find men like Jonathan—where are they?
  3. Fear! I don’t want anyone to know the real me or what is going on in my life.
  4. Nothing holds me back. I already have a Jonathan in my life.
  5. Other __________.

10. How might this group help you build a covenant relationship like Jonathan or David?

  1. I’d like to have someone just listen to me, so I feel known for who I really am.
  2. Having someone to do life with, and pray with, would be an answer to prayer.
  3. I’m willing to support not only my guy friends but their families, too.
  4. I could use help in changing my priorities, values, habits, and lifestyle.
  5. Other __________.

11. Who do you know that could use someone like Jonathan in their life? What step could you take this week to start becoming that someone?

  1. I don’t really know anyone but will start looking this week.
  2. Not sure how to get started being a trustworthy friend.
  3. This is something I’ve thought and prayed about, and I will offer it this week.
  4. I need such a friend in my life and will start with guys in my small group first.
  5. Other ___________.

12. Pray silently for the person on your right—that God will open doors for them to form new and mutually supportive relationships.