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Shared Living - Finding Good Roommates

What do The Waltons, Golden Girls, and Frasier have in common? They were all popular TV shows presenting shared living arrangements between friends or family members. However, other than The Waltons, none of the series were faith-based. And we all know how difficult life can be without God.

So with a faith-based approach in mind, we are attempting to teach our mission residents how to find and be good roommates who share living costs and get along with others.

Biblical Reconciliation Model&Warning About Unforgiveness

Don't get me wrong. We caution care in choosing a roommate from church, too. We all recognize that difficult, angry people can be church members. But, we can learn lessons from them.

For example, some poorly behaving church members are unable to offer forgiveness to others nor can they ask for forgiveness for themselves. They suffer from excess "pride." Thus, they can't live up to our Lord's reconciliation model in Matthew 18:15-17.

Neither are they heeding our Lord's warning that "if you refuse to forgive others your Father will not forgive you" (Matt. 6:15). It saddens all of us when our loving heavenly Father must discipline prideful people due to their poor choices (1 Cor. 11:30; Heb. 12:5-11).


Also, unforgiving people rarely admit they are wrong. They are what the bible calls "irreconcilable" and "unappeasable." So you can't make things right and you can't satisfy their anger - not good roommates, that's for sure! The apostle Paul tells us to "avoid such men as these" (2 Tim. 3:5).


Another biblical rule our residents can follow is to avoid what the bible calls "divisive" people. These are people who start fights and argue over minor or trivial things. They tend to split-up groups, gossip endlessly and are given to angry outbursts. Again, Paul tells us to "stay away from them" (Ro. 16:17). Good advice!

Ephesians Chapters 4&5 Character Traits

Ephesians chapters 4:17 - 5:20 offer excellent instructions to those who are trying to develop godly character traits. They could be most like the roommates our residents might seek out for themselves. For example, these chapters tell us to build others up and help to meet their needs with kindness, gentleness and humility.

Those Who Submit to Biblical&Godly Church Authorities

Clearly, those who agree to submit to biblical and godly church authorities always make better citizens, friends and roommates. Pray for our mission residents as we find ways to help them learn to live with others in today's uncertain economic climate. The Bible is always our guide and offers the best advice for everyday living.


Valorie Emilio works with and teaches women at the Gospel Rescue Mission in Grants Pass, Oregon, where her husband, Ken, serves as Director.

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