What matters most in life is not what ladders we climb, churches we build, or possessions we accumulate. What matters most is relationship, more specifically, our covenant relationships. A covenant relationship is one that you can accept or reject, but you can’t change it. Covenant relationships with God-given friendships are a vital part of every leader’s life.

Covenant relationships take time, commitment, and godly character; they don’t just happen. True covenant relationships begin with a specific decision and continue as certain principles of integrity are respected and continually activated. God is adamant about covenant relationships.  One example from the Bible of a covenant relationship is the one between David and Jonathan. Every believer and leader should understand and glean from four clear principles exemplified in David and Jonathan’s relationship.

Covenant relationship begins with a spiritual act of being knit together. Being “knit” together is like being chained to one another. In nearly every language, friendship is considered to be the union of souls bound together by the band of love. Covenant relationships produce a sameness – as though one soul were in two bodies. To be knit together, the strands of God-centered belief need to be tied in place. There must be a mutual personal commitment to the relationship that includes a mutual respect, resulting in building the other person and not tearing down.

Covenant relationship begins and grows by making and keeping covenant. The purpose of a covenant is to guarantee that the relationship will remain healthy and will last. The covenant itself is a series of words that are spoken to define the nature of the relationship and the principles of commitment to it. When covenant is the foundation for relationships, the possibility of maintaining permanence and stability is greatly enhanced.

Covenant relationship begins with a “generous soul” attitude. The generous soul gives not only what is valuable and suitable to the relationship, but also asks what is honorable. A “generous soul” attitude causes both people to pour out affirmation, encouragement, and words of greatness. It quickly promotes the other person over self. All relationships grow when the “generous soul” attitude is present.

Covenant relationship grows and stays healthy as we protect the relationship. Every relationship will have its times of testing, stretching, problems, and disruption. Outside pressures can be expected; however, we must handle these pressures wisely and successfully if we are to maintain true covenant relationships. We need to consistently protect the relationship by being faithful at all times with our words, attitudes, and actions; reflecting the character and love of Jesus.