The man cave. Seems that every day I hear more and more about these things. There’s now a show in Netflix all about (I’m assuming) men making custom “caves” for themselves. Looks interesting. The mere fact that the show exists confirms that the idea of these guy-getaways have really become mainstream in our culture. Anytime something is noticeably climbing the popularity ladder in our world, I find myself asking myself, “Is that right? What would God think about this?”
In one sense, it doesn’t matter at all. There’s nothing in the Bible explicitly written about men building a room exclusively for him and his buddies to watch football. If we’re talking purely, “Is there a ‘thou shalt not…’ command on this?” then we’re off the hook. Go for it.
But there’s another sense in which I think we could say that God cares very much about not only man caves, but everything we do. Not because the thing itself is intrinsically good or evil, but because He cares about our heart motives. The better question to ask [maybe a better title for this post even] is “Why do Christian men want man caves?” “Why do you want a man cave?”
It matters why.
Everything matters when it comes to the why. What is the motive behind what we’re wanting to do. If the motive is to be like the culture, have a cool getaway like your non-Christian buddy has, then you might want to check yourself and examine your motives.
If your motive is so that you can get away from your nagging wife, meddling kids, isolate yourself so you can veg out with TV (or some other hobby), not having to take up the mantle of being a husband and father when you get home from work, then you definitely need to stop and ask yourself why you think escaping is the answer to these things you don’t like.
But – just because these two motives above may be behind some or most mens’ desire to build that custom hangout in the basement or spare bedroom doesn’t mean these are the only option. There could be a great motive for wanting your own space too. What if you want this ‘cave’ so that you can spend some focused time on discipling some younger guys in your church? What if this room was always open and available to the whole family (especially your wife!) and just the place where you tended to keep most of your stuff, not a ‘men only’ off limits zone? What if you used this space for guys to come hang out, talk about real life, get counsel, prayer and encouragement and get whooped by you in a friendly game of pool while all of this was going on? What about a place where you could invite over your non-Christian friends to influence them and point them toward Christ?
You see, it’s not a simple “Yeah, who cares. Man caves for all!” or “No way, that’s a wicked worldly thing no Christian should ever think about!” kind of answer to the question.
The question is why do you want one? To create your own Budweiser commercial experience or to use the space the same way you should use all of the space God has given you – to further His kingdom by loving Him (quiet time, prayer closet, time alone to read, write, meditate) and by loving others (see above aforementioned activities). Check your motives. Check your heart. Then get someone close to you, who really knows you and will tell you the truth (your wife first, your best friend if you’re not married) who will help keep you accountable and make sure you’re not pulling one of those “My motives are pure” when really you’re building this hideaway for selfish reasons, moments.
The ‘why’ question is something we should ask ourselves all the time anyway. The why behind the man-cave is important.