Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ruth Bell Graham

Billy Graham's wife, Ruth, died today after a long illness. From what I've read about her, it seems that she was one of the biggest reasons that Billy was able to rise above the temptations that so many other famous religious figures fall into: adultery, substance abuse, embezzelment, and becoming a partisan political whore, just to name a few.

Perhaps the reason that she was able to be a more effective supporter for him than many other spouses of religous celebrities is that she broke a cardinal rule of evangelicalism: she refused to play the role of the submissive wife.

She once told her children that "there comes a time to stop submitting and start outwitting". When she disagreed with Billy on an issue or thought his head was getting too big (a frequent occurrance for preachers, I assure you) she wasn't afraid to say so. It seems that Ruth cared a whole lot more about the integrity of Billy's ministry and spreading the gospel than about keeping up some image that others thought she should portray.

There's a saying that well behaved women rarely make history. Ruth Bell Graham was probably not well behaved by many of her peers' standards, and thus she and her husband made history. Let us pray that there will be more badly behaved women like her.

(P.S.- Let's give credit where credit is due- Billy Graham was smart enough to listen to a strong willed woman that was often smarter than he was.)

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