Monday, January 17, 2011

Lessons fom Ruth Bell Graham- Part 1

For Christmas I received a copy of "It's My Turn" by Ruth Bell Graham, evangelist Billy Graham's wife. It is a great easy read and is full of practical wisdom and advice for wives and mothers.   For my own benefit as much as yours, I am going to share some of the bits and pieces that I highlighted when reading it.  There is so much to share that I'll break it up into two posts. 

I know there is a lot, but there is so much to learn from this amazing woman of God.  As Jeremy is applying to youth pastor positions, I've been thinking a lot about being the wife of a man in ministry and what that will mean for our family.  It will be an amazing privilege to serve along side him, but I know that there will be challenges.  Who better to learn from about marriage, ministry, and family than the wife of Billy Graham?

"You have heard from one who has had  generous portion of the earth for his parish.  You are about to hear from one who had their home and their five children for hers.  The size of the parish is immaterial. But the message and the goals have been essentially the same."

"I have learned much from others.  But I have learned the most from an old, eternally contemporary Book and its Author."

"One's spiritual survival and growth is not necessarily dependent upon one's rots, or the environment within which one grows:"

"Daddy and Mother were of the strong opinion that life is a battleground and that home life and schooling should be the training ground"

"If God could be reached only through intellect, then where would the brain damaged, the mentally retarded, and the little child"

"True scholarship and deep love for God frequently going hand in hand"

"Gently, tactfully, persistently, I tried to suggest and then to persuade Bill that perhaps he, too, should go to Tibet as a missionary.  It was obvious that I was doing the calling, not God.  Weeks passed.  Finally Bill turned to me: 'Do you believe that God brought us together?  I did-unquestionably.  'In that case,' Bill said firmly, 'God will lead me and you will do the following.'  And I have been following ever since."

"When two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary."

"It is good to know how to disagree and when [with your husband].  Here are a few suggestions out of my own experience: First, define the issue (and make sure it is worth disagreeing over); next, watch your tone of voice and be courteous (don't interrupt, and avoid rude, unkind, or unnecessarily personal remarks); third, stick to the subject; fourth, stick to facts; and fifth, concede graciously.  As for when to have a disagreement, this takes both sensitivity and ingenuity on the part of the wife as well as the husband.  For one thing, it is not wise to disagree with a man when he is tired, hungry, worried, ill preoccupied, or pressured. Nor does it pay to argue with your husband unless you are looking your very best.  And avoid arguing when you are boiling mad over some issue."

"Adapting to our husbands never implies the annihilation of our creativity, rather the blossoming of it"

"Young husbands seldom mean to be cruel, but being new at the business of marriage, and unable to see things the way new brides do, they can be thoughtless"

"A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.  And after the forgiving comes laughter, a deeper love- and further opportunities to forgive"

"A woman assumes the household responsibilities to free her husband for his"

"Pity the married couple who expect too much from one another"

"It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be: always ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision.  Such expectations put a man under impossible strain."

"God created us to be a 'help meet' for our husbands...Since every man is different, needs will vary.  So it is up to the wife to study her own husband to discover how she ca best meet those needs.  And she is to adapt herself to him.  Now, this takes skill and imagination.  It keeps a woman feminine."

"Too often, early love is a mirage built on daydreams.  love deepens with understanding, and varying viewpoints expand and challenge one another.  So many things things improve with age.  So it is with marriage.  Those who abandon ship the first time it enters  storm misses the calm beyond.  And the rougher the storms weathered together, the deeper and stronger real love grows."


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