I remember very clearly the day we brought our fifth born child home from the hospital. Although our babies room with my husband and I for at least one year (and usually 2-3 years), I was distraught that we did not have a nursery set up for my son. We simply did not have room. At the time, I was sure that he was being deprived of a space that all children deserved.
The Lord has surely changed my heart on this matter during the past 3+ years! It is amazing how He works, isn’t it? I was the only girl in my family growing up, and I had a bedroom to myself. If I was angry, I was able to sulk in peace. I was able to completely distance myself from the rest of my family for hours at a time if I wanted. Then when I was married, everything changed. I was expected to share a room, a closet, basically everything with someone else. What in the world? It was a rather difficult adjustment.
I would love to share a few reasons why I believe that room sharing isn’t just preferred, but is needful among siblings. We currently have a boys room and a girls room for our children. We also have a playroom, an office, a separate dining room, and a finished basement. We could technically have more bedrooms, but do not.
Here is our #1 reason: Sharing rooms is a tool to keep our children from developing selfish behavior.
In our independent society, most people look out for themselves above all else. Our hope is that by sharing space in our household, our children will be more empathetic towards others. They will be reminded daily that the world does not revolve around themselves. They will learn that we were created to fellowship and help others continuously. They will hopefully grow very close bonds with their siblings that will reach into adulthood. When married, they will be able to quickly make the adjustment to sharing a space with their significant other, and think of their spouses needs above their own.
Of course sharing a room isn’t the cure all to sibling relationships. But I do see sisterly and brotherly bonds growing. I would encourage you to consider bunking your children together, even if you have more space in your home. These extra spaces can become lovely common areas enjoyed by all. My prayer is that room sharing will help my little ones better develop a servant’s heart right from the start.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.