Father’s Day is a day of great celebration for our father’s that raised us and took care of us. Father’s are such an important piece to a family, but sadly there are a lot of sons and daughters that will struggle with fathers. From tragedy to neglect, there are many reasons that people struggle with this holiday. Even in the Bible, we see one of the most identifiable characters, Jonathan, with a messed up relationship with his dad.
Throughout 1 Samuel we see instances of Jonathan’s father, Saul, being a man that was angry, depressed, and neglectful. In 1 Samuel 18, we see his jealousy of David and that led to him throwing a spear at him. Then Jonathan defends David, standing up to his father and then aiding David getting him to safety. Saul insults him and swears at him, calling him names and shaming his birth. Jonathan did not have it easy when it came to his father.
Jonathan’s relationship with Saul was a tumultuous one for lack of better words. There’s a lesson we can learn from Jonathan's response to Saul. Saul’s failures and shortcomings didn’t’ define Jonathan’s direction. Saul might have wanted to kill his best friend, but Jonathan stood loyal to David. Jonathan also stood by his father’s side until the end. Even though he had every reason to abandon him, every reason to disregard him, he still stood with his brothers and defended Israel.
We see throughout Jonathan’s life a common thread that his Heavenly Father, not his earthly one, led him. Jonathan was not defined by Saul’s actions (or inaction) in his life. He followed God and served him, even when his own father was against him. Draw on Jonathan’s example and find your direction and purpose through Christ.