The students will be able to explain that David and Jonathan were true friends because they loved each other in good times as well as bad.
Introduction: Bring to class a number of pictures cut from magazines showing friends doing a variety of things together. Ask your students to define what they think a friend is. Do friends have to be the same age? Same nationality? Same background? Tell them that the Bible story for today is a beautiful example of a friendship in which the two people were very different.
Climax: Jonathan loved David as a dear friend even though he knew that David would one day be king instead of him.
Conclusion: True loving friendship is much deeper than just a surface relationship.
Response: The students will be able to describe the friendship of David and Jonathan, and will be able to explain that real friendship is more than just being nice to someone for personal advantage.
David talked to Saul at length after the defeat of Goliath. Most likely he spoke about how his faith in God was the reason for his courage. As Jonathan, a man of kindred spirit, listened, he was attracted to David in such a way that the Scripture says "the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David" (1 Samuel 18:1). The two made a covenant that day and Jonathan sealed that covenant by giving David his robe, his weapons, and his belt (girdle). Jonathan's gift to David was a great honor. Most of Israel's soldiers had only crude implements but Jonathan's weapons were the very best. The belt was a folded woolen cloth tied around the waist and often used to hold a man's sword. The robe was an important part of a man's wardrobe and was certainly better than any the simple shepherd boy had ever owned. This may have also indicated Jonathan's recognition that David was to be the next king in his stead.
Although his father was an extremely jealous man, Jonathan showed no trace of jealousy, but willingly accepted David's appointment by God to the throne. Neither personal ambition nor family quarrels could separate these two friends. These were not "fair-weather friends." They stood true to each other though tested by many trials and troubles. Most importantly, however, their friendship was based upon a mutual, deep, and abiding faith in the God of Israel as evidenced by Jonathan's words in 1 Samuel 14:6,12 and David's words in 1 Samuel 17:37,46.
Special Instructions for Unit 26: Prepare the "David and Jonathan" place mat for your students.
Look over the children in your department and set up a chain of friendship. For example: Johnny and Billy are friends, Billy and Nancy are cousins and good friends, Nancy and Jill go to school together and play together, Jill and her brother Tommy are good friends, Tommy likes Paul who is in his Sunday school class. Sunday school class is a good place to make friends. Talk about how much fun it is to have friends and ways to make and keep friends. Give each child a tag which states, "Join the David and Jonathan Club! We like friends!" (see Patterns).
Think of some of the ways other teachers in your department have been friends to you. Make a large heart of construction paper for each kind deed or evidence of friendship you will talk about, and briefly write this on the heart. Start your review by telling the assembled group that you are going to introduce them to some of your friends. Call the teachers forward one at a time. Present each one in turn with a paper heart and talk about how they showed themselves as friends.
Fill six balloons with helium and tie a string on each. On the first one draw a happy face. (My friend likes me when I'm happy.) Then draw a crying face. (My friend tries to comfort me when I'm sad.) Continue on with a lonely face, a scared face, a hurt face (Band-Aid on cheek), and a wondering face. As you present each balloon, talk about how a true friend will react to each mood. Hand each balloon to a different person in the audience as you talk. At the end, call all the people holding balloons up and tell your group that these are all your friends. As you go through the different moods, be sure to bring in how Jonathan and David were friends in these times too.