Writing to Other Men

 by Chuck Snyder
 co-chaplain for the Seattle Mariners

 

Dear Chuck,
My husband turned himself in for an old parole violation last year and is doing time. We serve as missionaries in a foreign country and he asked me to write to encourage some of the men he has met in prison. My problem is that it's been difficult writing to these men and I shared that with my husband. He has given me the freedom to stop writing and now I don't know how to discontinue writing without being very hurtful. Of course, I can refer them to the Christian pen pal ministries, but am not sure how to go about that. It has become quite obvious to me that some of these men are very encouraged in the Lord, but I’m uncomfortable with the fact that they want to "introduce" them to other missionary women. I have made it very clear I won't do that, as I wouldn't want my friends to go through what I am going through. I would appreciate your input. 

Chuck's Response
I’m so sorry about your husband being in prison, but I guess I can’t think of a better “mission field” than being confined with precious, heathen, immoral, dishonest, angry men who need Christ in their life. I would never choose this situation for you of course, but I can surely see a benefit for the Lord with your husband being there. I think I may be missing something in your story, however. Why would you want to stop writing letters to the men that your husband is touching in prison, (other than you not wanting to introduce them to missionary women)? You can still teach them Christian principles and encouragement without introducing them to anyone. You don’t have to say why. Just say you don’t have “peace” about doing that and there is nothing they can say. From my outside viewpoint, YOU are a vital cog in the relationships your husband is nurturing within the prison. They not only need to be taught scriptural principles of living, but they also need to see things through a woman's eyes. God has given you women great wisdom that we men don’t have. These are my thoughts for your consideration. Let me know if you want to talk further.

Chuck Snyder
 

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Contact Chuck: chuck@chucksnyder.org
Updated 05/24/2005