Behind Her Back

Receiving an unsolicited call from a desperate husband asking if my womens' events are appropriate for his wife to attend and what topics I would be addressing, caught me way off guard. (What?) I honestly had to ask him to repeat what he said because, well, I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. 

"Sorry sir, can you repeat that?"
"I'm calling because my wife is planning to attend one of your conferences and I just want to be sure it's appropriate for her and if the topics your are speaking on, will be relevant and biblically sound for her. You know how you women are..." (stated in a harsh tone)

I try really hard not be defensive in anything in life and it takes a lot for me to get to that place, but I responded quickly and firmly. (especially after he said, "you know how YOU women are...")

"I'm positive, sir, that your wife will receive much and be blessed by the conference. Is your wife with you right now while you've taken the time to call me?"
(long pause and silence)
"Well, no not really. She's at work now."
"Does she know you're calling me? Did you tell her you would be calling me on this, sir?"
".......No. I don't want her to know. It's very complicated."
"Then, sir, with all due respect, I can't speak to you. You see, this conversation isn't appropriate for me to attend to. Seems a bit strange for a man to call a woman he doesn't know without his wife's approval. And speaking of "appropriate and biblical", how does the fact that you called me - fit into that thinking?"
(silence again)
"I see what you're saying, ma'am..."

Every once in a while, I'm reminded of the neanderthal mindset that still exists in the heart of a controlling over-bearing bible-thumping husband. When I turned his conversation around, using his own words, he grew deafly silent. 

I'm praying today for his wife. I'm sure this isn't a first for her. I also pray she comes to the event. I pray she has the courage to overcome what I'm sure has been a difficult dominating journey. 

I always pray for women attending any conference, retreat or event I speak for. But I also have included praying for the spouse at home too. "God, give them the assurance and presence of mind to love their wives enough that they give them an embracing send-off."

My thoughts today:
  • Husbands, love your wives. Be their covering, not their containment.
  • Wives, love your husbands. Really really do this. 
  • A women's conference should never cause a division between a husband and a wife; it should be an oasis getaway, empowering you MORE to be the best you can be in all relational aspects.
  • The first excuse or demand someone gives you is rarely the heart of the real issue. There's something brewing under the surface.
I know there's a whole lot more going on with this man. Pray for him. And being the humorist that I am, I find no humor in any of this...


Dr. Deanna DossShrodes said...


That is absolutely pathetic.

You're right, no humor in that at all.

Sue Duffield said...

And it took me a lot to post this, truly. I don't want to appear insensitive to him, but - wow, this just causes me to pray even more for the women I speak to. Thanks for you comment, Deanna. Love you!

Pam Manners said...

Right on both counts, my friend. There IS a lot more to this than meets the eye (or ear, in this case) and there was absolutely NO humor in this situation. My heart breaks for this woman on many levels.

You handled this with grace, yet the firmness that was SO necessary here.

God's blessings to you, Sue. <3

Sue Duffield said...

Thanks Pam. I had to dig deep, not to tell him off or make him mad. I hope he saw his own words coming back to him. I believe God gave me the response needed. I'm not that smart.

Sue Duffield said...

Pretty heavy stuff.

robyn blaikie collins said...

that's really tragic. i hope he could hear what he needed to hear from you. blech!

if he only knew how you love your own husband, he would be sending her to all of your conferences...

Sue Duffield said...

I hope so too, Troubled me greatly. It also helps me even more to understand why some wives struggle.

Anonymous said...

Oh my. Thanks Sue, for posting this... Unreal.

Judy said...

Can't believe this. This is crazy. Your return words to him were divinely orchestrated. Yes.

Candy Davison said...

Quote by Lysa Terkeurst: "Even a great husband makes a very poor God!"

Kari Scare said...

Wish I could think as quickly as you did and so effectively. My thought processes take a bit longer (introvert that I am).

BTW, Sue, you have ministered at my church (New Hope Assembly in Three Rivers, MI) many times. We always love having you. Looking forward to connecting with you online more.

Sue Duffield said...

God bless you Kari. I hope to see you soon.