I find that when I get into little tiffs with other people, I tend to draw back and I put up a wall, its something I have been working on not doing. Growing up, there weren’t many people in my life who I trusted or could trust, and so I naturally developed a safe wall that no one could climb over. I have been living with three roommates for all four years of college, I had my share of terrible roommates, great roommates, roommates who turned into best friends, roommates whose friendship was blown out. People aren’t perfect and, we are never going to have an absolutely perfect roommate, there will be tiffs and there will be joys, this is a process of learning how to love through differences and arguments.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. -Ephesians 3: 14-19
I love Ephesians, I think almost every person does, its an encouraging book in the Bible, but this passage clearly states that everyone is derived from Christ. We are all the children of God, and everything we do, should reflect His love to others. So even though our roommates may not wash dishes, play their music too loud, even though they may bug the living daylights out of us, we are to love them. I love my roommates, but I know they aren’t perfect, and they know I am not perfect by any standard. However, I have to make a daily decision to love them, through everything they may do that bugs me, through anything they do in their own lives that I don’t agree, I have to show the love of Christ. My roommates are my sisters in Christ, and they are going to shape me, and they teach that life isn’t all about myself.
Having roommates in college and even out of college is going to teach us a lot about who we are and about our own faults. It also gives us a chance to live out what we believe and to develop a family outside of our biological family, it gives us a chance to bless others. I love to write notes, and often times, I communicate much better through written words than talking, but I make an effort to sit and talk with my roommates. When someone comes into the house, we should ask them how their day was, chances are, they are longing for someone to show they care enough to sit and listen to them. When someone is having a bad day and we have some extra money to bless them, we should do it willingly and want to bless them.
When a roommate is going through something they don’t want to talk about, I’ve learned don’t press it, just pray. Roommates can also be great encouragers and often times they are the only people who might encourage us through the week. They give us the opportunity to exercise our prayer lives, and an opportunity to learn life skills we didn’t know before such as cooking, sewing, cleaning, playing guitar, how to clean out candle glasses when the wick is completely gone. Roommates will not always get along, and they won’t always be nice, but, we can make the conscious decision to talk things out and love them through everything. Christ does the same with us, we sin daily in one way or another and He still chooses to love us.
Jesus in the book of Matthew tells a story of a servant who was forgiven by the master for not having the money to pay a debt, and then when the servant goes home, his servant can’t pay him and instead of extending forgiveness and grace, he beats him and sends him out. When we don’t extend grace and love to our roommates we are just like that servant. How sad it must be for Jesus to see this happen to His children, God has forgiven us, what gives us the right to hold things against our roommates? I can say that through the good and the bad, I am so glad that I was roommates with all those people because, they have each taught me something different.
As we grow individually and in our relationship with Christ, we become more of who God purposed us to be and our roommates help us to get to that point as well. I hope that this helps you to see who you live with in a different light, it isn’t always going to be easy, and we are all fighting certain battles, but, God loves us so that we can love others.