When you hear the term “man cave” the first thing that may come to mind is a place where men have created a safe haven, a getaway from his wife and kids. A home away from home sorta speak. You envision the largest television one could ever imagine mounted on the wall, perhaps two. Video games and controllers litter the room. His refrigerator indispensably rests in the corner. Sports memorabilia copiously line the walls creating the perfect ambiance giving evidence this is indeed a man’s place of residence. The man cave has famously been deemed a place he can go to drink as much as he wants, eat whatever his heart desires until he’s beyond full. There is no dress code and tawdry becomes the standard. The man cave is sacred and only chosen ones are allowed entry. Rules are implemented that only makes sense to those who are part of this elite highly touted “man cave.” A sense of adoration soon sets in.
On the surface there appears to be nothing wrong with a man having such an environment. It helps him unwind, relax, gather his thoughts in order to be more effective in his role as the head of the family. When considering it in this manner many are partial of the man cave.
But there is another “man cave” that each man possesses whether he lives in a house, apartment, car or a cardboard box. This one doesn’t come with decorative attractions filling a secluded room meticulously tucked away in the basement. There are no pool tables, flat screen televisions, or a bar stocked to please. Rather, this man cave is self-made and lies deep within.
Just as a man will hide out in his luxurious man cave, numbing himself to the stresses that life presents, this same man will conceal himself inside his self-made man cave filled with past failures, character indiscretions, and hidden secrets connected with them. When this man is in his cave you will see lack of emotion, disconnect from loving others or being loved, identity issues and an abundance of pain.
This same man will stand roughshod blocking the entrance to the cavern of his heart allowing the skeletons of his past to continue rotting away, festering, trapped inside while he masquerades through life as a man with no worries or fears, compromising his integrity, violating not only man’s laws but more importantly God’s laws.
He becomes more crippled and emotionally damaged with the continued neglect of his wounds. Each time a person tries to gain entry into his self-made man cave of emotional carnage he will lash out, berate, threaten, ruin relationships destroying the family unit, losing everything all for the sake of that rotting festering skeleton who remains locked up in the confines of his wounded heart, desperately wanting to be freed, but his cruel captor continues to hold him hostage afraid of the exposure, embarrassment, and ultimately, rejection by others if his skeleton dares to get out the closet. He’d rather remain scarred and maimed unable to make progress in his life.
I once lived in a self made man cave afraid to exit it and face the shameless looks, judgmental comments and the barrage of criticism that comes with taking another’s life. The transition one has to make in order to come out of this self man made cave is not an easy process. One must be willing to acknowledge his past failures and ultimately enter a relationship with God. Accept your past experiences and take responsibility. Gain power and control over yourself, and forgive yourself. If not for the acknowledgment of my past failures and dedication to Jehovah I would still be living in my cave protecting those skeletons. Allowing those skeletons the freedom to leave my cave has allowed me to live with purpose on purpose unafraid to pursue my purpose which is to share my past experiences with young men who are living in their self made “man cave” so they can release their skeletons before its too late!!
Submitted by: Connell L. Howard #234626 @ jpay.com