In remembrance of our men and women behind bars (Hebrews 13:3, Matthew 7:12)
With the ever-increasing number of laws in our society, your man may find himself in jail for something as simple as unpaid parking tickets. I visited the Los Angeles County Jail, one of the toughest and most segregated jails in the nation, to see what some of its toughest men had to say.
Ladies, let me first explain that in jail, they call the phone “the stress box.” Plus, there are usually only a few phones per 30-plus men. This is certainly not the time to broadcast your dirty laundry, as all phone calls are recorded and could be used against him. Your primary focus should be getting the Man of your Dreams (MOYD) out of that environment and back home safely. So I recommend that if you are a praying couple, that you pray before you make or accept the call--or even better, pray together before you start the conversation. Trust me; you will need it, because there is an overwhelming amount of stress in such a situation, and there are things you cannot see that can add a ton more.
State of Mind
Once a man allows fear to enter his mind, thinking the worst is just a step away. Your job is to lift him up, not tear him down. Stay aware and focused at all times, and try not to take any outbursts personally. Constant fear + constant stress + constant worry do not always produce the most loving of phone calls.
Jail is filled with negatives, from other inmates to correctional officers, who at times can be very rude, to say the least. Pray constantly that God protects your man at his life’s lowest point. Ninety percent of the Bible was written from jail or captivity, so do not be surprised if he truly finds God there. Support his efforts to become a better man. For all of you praying ladies, this is an answered prayer. Give thanks.
I hope and pray that you never personally experience the inside of a jail cell, but one weekend spent there would change your entire perspective on correctional facilities. Imagine being locked in a small bathroom all day, only eating the worst of the food in your refrigerator and only being able to use the phone or watch a preselected TV channel when somebody else allows it. You may not even get the bare essentials, such as soap or toilet paper.
All the while, you are ducking and dodging jail politics and racism: “Blacks eat here, Mexicans over there, whites sit at their respective tables and Asians and others get in where they can. Blacks use this phone; Mexicans, whites and others use that phone.” Are you serious? Yes, life-threateningly serious. It’s unfortunate that some men have died in facilities like these for something as simple as a baloney sandwich (or something that looks like baloney). It’s a very sad situation.
Keep in mind that your man is surrounded by some of the most criminally-minded people you will never (hopefully) meet. Note: Obviously, every single person in jail is not a bad apple, and many do not belong there, which also says something about our “injustice” system. With that being said, with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), and if you invite him into your lives, and the MOYD uses his time wisely, God can and will take a negative situation and use it for the good of you and your family, making you a stronger couple.
Below, from some of the toughest men you’ll ever meet, are 18 things NOT TO say to the MOYD in jail:
1. “Baby, I am lonely.” Telling the MOYD you’re lonely when he is locked up helplessly in a jail cell will only make him feel insecure. He’ll worry whether or not you will be faithful to him, or even if you’ll be there when he gets out. Not a good feeling.
2. “I am going out to a party tonight with my girlfriends.” Once again, it shows that your life is moving on without him and will make him feel insecure.
3. “My girlfriend said she heard…” When a man is at the lowest and most humiliating point in his life, this is not the time to bring up the “he said/she said” drama. His frustrations could carry over to some unexpecting inmate, which could lead to a fight, riot and people getting killed. It’s really that serious.
4. “My girlfriends and I are at home getting drunk.” Not a good scenario. Getting drunk often leads to other unwarranted behavior that will create negative images and insecurities in your man’s mind.
5. “We need to talk.” This often signals bad news, or even that you are ready to break up.
6. “I am pregnant.” This could be great news, unless it’s by another man. Eek!
7. “I am moving out of state with your child.” This is the ultimate slap in the face to a father who loves his children.
8. “What if you get life in prison?” Stay away from negative thinking. Remember, with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). It would be better to pray privately to God about those types of questions regarding the MOYD. I heard testimony from a man who was facing life and got three years. Because of his faith in God, he would not accept a life sentence, because he knew that God is true to his word. His promises are our armor (Psalms 91:4). I also heard another testimony where a man got double life and was released. All things are possible through God.
9. “I ran into this girl today and she said something about you…” Once again, this is not the time to air dirty laundry. Your man’s mental, spiritual and physical safety is at stake, so temporarily put your pride to the side.
10. Any unnecessary drama. There is nothing more embarrassing than having an argument with your girl while 31-plus other inmates are watching you.
11. “The bail is too high.” Self-explanatory. There is no need