“It was not what she said, but what she was.” This was a quote from Ruth Graham’s biography and was a common thought of Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth. To me, she was an absolutely amazing woman. A true role model. Her ACTIONS WERE HER STRONGEST WORDS. She was strong,loving, humorous, independent, prayerful, strict, resolute and unwavering in her beliefs. She was born in China to missionary parents and met Billy at Wheaton College at the age 20.
My favorite parenting story she tells is an incident involving Franklin when he was a child. He was known for being very rebellious. He got into a fight with his sister in the car. Ruth promptly pulled off the North Carolina highway, put him in the trunk and drove him home! That is so funny to me, but today Ruth Graham would be put in jail for that choice. This makes me think of how times have changed in parenting. Of course, I am 100% against any type of cruelty and abuse of children and so was Ruth. I realize that the “bad parents, abusive parents” have made our culture go to the extreme in protecting our kids, sometimes to “their demise.” It is the old saying, “one bad apple spoils the whole bunch!” Our nation’s pendulum has swung so far to protecting kids (who are ALL immature and lack experience) and has lumped the good parents with the bad, uncaring parents. “All loving and good parents are now lumped with the parents that are the lowest common denominator of parents.” I grieve over the extremes in swinging so far in protecting children such that loving, concerned parents walk on “egg shells” and can’t be parents as the Bible teaches.
You don’t have to teach a child/toddler to be selfish and self-centered. Proverbs 22:15 states, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him.” It is COMMON in all of us. Discipline is something that has to be trained and taught. It doesn’t come naturally. It amazes me that the expectation of our culture has moved more and more toward society, schools/teachers, and government to discipline our offspring. No wonder we are in trouble as a nation. Training, discipline and NUTURING OF OUR CHILDREN were intended by God to start and be molded in the home. People scratch their heads and complain about the violence, guns and disrespect that exists in younger generations and it is growing.
The Bible has so much to say about parenting. Proverbs 19:18 states, “Discipline your son while there is hope and do not desire his death.” While Colossians 3:21 says, “Fathers do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart.” You have to read and study the Bible in the whole to grasp how God intended for parents to raise children. It first starts with the Parents having a heart for God and having the “FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT” themselves—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, Galatians 5:22. It is intended for parents to parent out of a desire and heart to please God. If this happens, then there will be a healthy view on how we should evoke and administer discipline in our children, all the while, when we make mistakes, acknowledging them to God and our kids. Looking at Franklin Graham’s life now tells me his mother and dad did a whole lot of RIGHT, of course with God at the helm.
The best part is to hear the testimony given by Franklin of his parents after being such a rebellious child. Franklin is the founder of “Samaritan’s Purse”. http://www.samaritanspurse.org/ Just click to see what the implementing of Biblical principles of parenting can do in the life of a “child”. NO better role models than Ruth and Billy Graham. No better testimony than the lives of their kids and I have only highlighted one of five.