Against the Man Cave

The Coffee — On a recent trip to Louisville with my wife, we visited a coffee shop recommended by our host. Sunergos Coffee was close to the place that we were staying in Germantown and the coffee did not disappoint. I branched out from my default Ethiopian roast and tried some “Kenya Kiambu” while there and bought a bag of “Colombia Chami Tio Conejo” to take home. Both did not disappoint. The Colombian roast was sweet. Notes of berry and pineapple shine through and I enjoyed drinking it with the warmer weather. The Kenyan roast was not as sweet but has a great flavor, the notes have a more citrus quality. I ended up ordering more of both and I will be keeping this roaster on hand to order more from.

The Theology — My wife and I are working through the book “No Mere Mortals” by Toby Sumpter with another couple. It has been a great read and has been an edifying book to read for all of us as newly married couples. The section of the book we are currently is diving deep into 1 Peter and the biblical roles attributable to husbands and wives. The most recent chapter discusses specifically: “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” (1Peter 3:7). Sumpter has a lot of great things to say about this verse, as well as the whole section within 1 Peter 3, and I encourage the readers to check out the book and read it for themselves. However, I want to talk about “living” with your wife in an “understanding way”. Or, “dwelling” with your wife “in knowledge” in other translations of scripture (such as the King James Version).

Recently, my wife was was watching a show where couples were looking in to buying their “dream house”. In multiple instances, the husband made some remark about needing a “man cave”, a “space to get away”, “a private kingdom”. One even referred to the wet bar in the house as a room to get “dad fuel” for parenting. This rubbed me the wrong way, and then after reading and discussing this chapter of Sumpter’s book, I know why. Husband’s are called to live and dwell with their wives in knowledge and understanding. This certainly indicates a physical proximity, but it undoubtedly means something greater than that. We are called to be invested in our wives. To come home from work, school, etc. and spend time with them. We should ask questions about their day and about their lives to “grow in knowledge and understanding”. Sumpter stated that if our wives did not change at all, it would still take years and years to truly know “everything” about our wife. However, our wives are human and their interests, passions, and personalities change with age and life stages. It takes a lifetime of intentional effort to grow our knowledge. The urge to get away and escape to a “man cave” immediately upon getting home from work does not allow us to fulfill our duties as husbands and as fathers. We cannot dwell with knowledge and understanding with our wives, or children, if we are our avoiding our calling and subjugating it to a television, their friends, their school, their hobbies, etc. There is nothing wrong with having time to unwind and relax, going to hang out with friends, making time for hobbies, etc. but we cannot habitually use these things as a way to escape our calling. Even things that are honorable for husbands and fathers to invest time in, such as woodworking, exercise, and learning, can become sinful when they get in the way of us dwelling with our wife in knowledge. To dwell in knowledge with our wives is to reflect on these areas and make sure it has not become a stumbling block in our duty. This reflection should drive us to work hard in our vocation to glorify God, and then come home and joyfully spend time and grow with the one we are in marital covenant with.

All Scripture passages from ESV

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics I urge you to use the contact function; or email pourovertheology@gmail.com

Sources:

No mere mortals: marriage for people who will live forever

Sumpter – Canon Press – 2020

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