“Oh where do you live?”
“South Denver, I live with a bunch of college students”
“Really? In a house?”
“Nope. There are 5 of us in a tiny two bedroom apartment”
“No really! I love it. It’s kind of the best thing ever.”
*more confused looks*
This conversation happens for me probably at least once a week. Either at church as we are shaking hands and introducing ourselves or out with friends or when catching up with someone I haven’t seen in a while.
The fact that I’m a twenty-something, out of college for a few years, and still choose to live in a dorm-like setting is straight up crazy to most people. Maybe even you are thinking it’s crazy. Maybe it is crazy.
But it is also one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I’ve grown in ways that I didn’t even know I needed to grow in.
I made deeper relationships.
Living in community made me a better person. And I think someday will make me a better wife and mother.
Here are my top 5 reasons to be crazy and live in community while you’re single:
1. It’s biblical
This sort of feels like the Sunday school answer but come on ladies! If we are planning to live a life that glorifies God in all things (and why wouldn’t we?) than doesn’t that include how we live?
The early church lived in community. They provided for each other’s needs. They met together. They ate together. They lived the beautiful and the ugly together.
I don’t know where you live, but here in Denver community is seriously lacking. We live in a very individualistic society where everyone is concerned with themselves first. This is the exact opposite of what God desires for us. We are NOT meant to live the Christian life alone. The writer of Hebrews encourages us “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another” (Heb 10:24-25)
Living with other believers spurs us on to love and godliness. We are mutually encouraged by each others faith (Rom 1:12). We sharpen each others’ faith. (Prov 27:17)
Can you have community when you live by yourself? Sure. But why not let the community overflow into your living situation?
2. Teaches you selflessness
I have tons of married friends who say things like “I thought I was a selfless person until I got married” or “I thought I was patient until I had kids”.
I used to think that this was crap until I lived with my grandma and was hoping she would be asleep so I didn’t have to talk to her. I saw my selfishness staring right back at me in the mirror.
When you live with other people your selfishness surfaces (or at least it did for me). It’s hard to claim things are “mine” when I share a room with two other girls. When you are five adults living in around 1000 square feet your messes rub all up against each other. You see the down and dirty. You see the ugly.
And you have to make a decision.
You have to decide what you love most- Your selfishness or your roommates.
3. Deepens your relationships
The wonderful girls I lived with this past year have grown into some of my best friends. We’ve seen each other at our most vulnerable places. We’ve spent time crying with each other. Prayed for each other. Loved each other.
They know some of the worst parts of who I am and love me in spite of it. They challenge me and hold me accountable. These relationships will no doubt last through eternity.
There’s just something about sharing a bathroom that will automatically make you closer than you ever thought possible.
4. Keeps you from isolating yourself
It’s easier to live alone. No one drinks your milk. No one borrows your skirt. No one challenges you when you spend all day hiding out from responsibility.
It’s easier to be alone. I am an extrovert by nature, but sometimes I get in this weird mood where I say things like “unless somebody invites me to do something I’m not going anywhere”. I know it’s not healthy for me to keep myself isolated but it’s so easy, especially if I live alone.
Not only is it not healthy to live a life isolated, it can hinder your dating life. That is definitely NOT the main reason to obey God by living in community. My sweet friend and fellow contributor, Carly, wrote a great article about getting out of your isolationist ways to date by faith.
But those principles apply to every relationship. To friendships, to mentors, to business connections. You have to be intentional about meeting people to meet people.
Living in community is a small step of accountability in this area for me.
5. Conflict resolution
If you have relationships of any kind you will have conflict at some point. It’s inevitable.
Whenever you get two or more sinful people together, their sin starts to show. Disagreements, miscommunications, hurt feelings. They happen.
And they can destroy a relationship if you don’t address them.
The odds are that many of you reading this will end up married someday (if you aren’t already). And guess what? You’ll probably have conflict with your husband.
Why not practice resolving it now as a single living in community?
We have a SUPER SUPER HELPFUL resource here at Missional Women called the Communication Wheel.
It’s what we use in our house whenever communication issues come up.
Have you ever lived in a community like this? What did you learn from it?
Check back soon for How to Live in an Intentional Community
Angi loves Jesus, coffee, baseball and baking cakes. She is a missionary to college students and can't think of anything she'd rather do to serve God. Angi first met the Lord while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa but really understood His love and grace as a freshman in college. Her heart is to invest in college students in the same way that many others invested in her. You can find her blogging over at Stuff Angi Does where she tells stories about Jesus, college students, and life. You can also find her on facebook, twitter, pintrest and instagram.
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