“Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, lest he become weary of you and hate you.” (Pr. 25:17)
While our culture generally runs enthusiastically toward the individualistic-decentered-homelessness of modernity, it is the temptation of some block-headed Christians attempting to live out biblical covenant community to create strife through their ideological commitments to the opposite.
If it’s the opposite of our culture it must be good, goes the thinking, and so people decide to live together, on top of each other, and what seems like a good idea for about six months blows up into some of the most divisive kind of hatred imaginable. Son gets married and moves into the downstairs apartment. In-laws have the kids and grandkids over 3 times a week, and the kids don’t know how to say ‘no thanks.’ Of course nothing wrong in and of themselves, kind of like playing with matches at a gas station.
One of the ways we love one another is by having our own homes and not being in each other’s hair too frequently. Generally, we need encouragement the other way, but while we’re recovering true community, this point needs to be made periodically so that our recovering of faithful fellowship does not result in worse splintering and distance.
In-laws, parents, children, and siblings are probably some of the most likely candidates for this kind of disaster, but you probably know some one who thought it would be a good idea to buy a house with another couple and have some kind of upstairs/downstairs deal worked out. The reason we should generally avoid that kind of intimacy is because we like our friends and family, and we’d rather have them keep liking us.