Julie Beck: What was the origin of the idea to buy a house together?
Deborah Tepley: I was raised in a very large family. I really love having a lot of people around. Luke was also raised in a big family, but for basically 10 years of his life, he lived alone as a bachelor. So I would always go, “Hey, we should live in a group house.” There are a lot of group houses in our church, of people who are renting together, both singles and married couples. I kept putting it out there, and he kept saying no.
Then there was this series of events in our life. We heard a woman who spoke at an event about buying a house with friends. Then we listened to a podcast, where a pastor that we loved had said he and his wife were empty-nesters, and they had decided that they shouldn’t live alone. We visited some friends at church who own a house and who rent out a lot of rooms. We had all these things happen in a row, and then one day Luke said that he was open to it.
Luke Jackson: This is all tied up with faith for me. Thinking about how I’ve grown in my faith and grown as a person—it has pretty much always been in the context of relationship. It’s other people who call out the best in us—and sometimes the worst, too—and provide opportunities for us to grow in compassion and wisdom and all these things. Being in daily contact with Deborah had really made me a better person, and I wanted that trajectory to continue.