The “Oppression” of Ruth Graham

A Washington Post staff writer suggests that Ruth Graham’s life was less than it could have been because she decided to support her husband and his ministry:

“The world will never know what else Ruth Graham, who as a wife and mother reared five children and wrote 14 books, could have accomplished had she not been Billy Graham’s ‘helpmeet,’ . . . Being a pastor’s wife, particularly an evangelical Christian pastor’s wife, is one of the hardest jobs there is. Not only are you expected to obey and serve your husband, you’re supposed to like doing so, and on the occasions you don’t, keep quiet about it.”

I guess in this reporter’s opinion rearing five children and writing 14 books is underachieving. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who would politely disagree with this caricatured estimate of Ruth Graham’s life.

5 Responses to The “Oppression” of Ruth Graham

  1. Trish June 26, 2007 at 7:12 am #

    This man is insensitive and self serving. Billy Graham is grieving the loss of his wife and this man publically degrades his wife’s decision to be his wife. Why would any decent human being try to make someone feel even worse in his grief?

    This has nothing to do with the Christian faith, it is plain common decency. It is also non of this man’s business, or the world’s business, what Ruth Graham chose to do with her life.

    I for one believe she chose rightly. Being a wife and mother is important and honorable “work.”

    This man ought to be ashamed of himself for bringing additional grief to Billy Graham.

    Trish

  2. Luke Britt June 26, 2007 at 9:48 am #

    Could it be a simple praise for Mrs. Graham gone bad?

  3. mike June 26, 2007 at 10:10 am #

    The gentleman that wrote this comment clearly does not understand the entire Point. I believe that Mrs. Graham would have responded that is God that she loved, obeyed and served, first. Not Mr. Graham.

    She obeyed and served Mr. Graham BECAUSE AND ONLY because she loved, obeyed and served her LORD FIRST. I believe that she would say that the only reason that she was able to do these things is because the love, obediance and servatude that she radiated actually, ultimatley, came from Him.

    As far as liking her role by serving her husband, I believe that she would have said that it was an overflowing and immense joy and honor to do so. Reason being is because it was a reflection of His love which served her, opening her eyes to what truly loving, obeying and serving, truly is. She would have said that it was a delight to glorify her Father by displaying the very characteristics that her Savior showed her.

    Finally, I think that Mrs. Graham would have stated to have done otherwise would have been completely and totally self centered. I believe that she would have said that the accomplishments that she made COULD NOT AND WOULD NOT have been made had she NOT graciously and lovingly displayed God to her husband and family.

    I praise God for woman like Mrs. Graham. The example of a Proverbs 31 woman displayed by women like Mrs. Graham are invaluable. May my wife and daughers love, serve and obey the LORD like Mrs. Graham loved, served, obeyed the LORD.

    I also praise God that,
    “The world will never know what else Ruth Graham, who as a wife and mother reared five children and wrote 14 books, could have accomplished had she not been Billy Graham’s ‘helpmeet,’.” Thank you God for having mercy on us by not allowing us to find out.

  4. dennyrburk June 26, 2007 at 10:27 am #

    Luke (#2),

    I think you may be right. But that’s the problem. The writer’s worldview prevents her from seeing how patronizing her praise is.

    Denny

  5. Jada Bown Swanson June 26, 2007 at 11:43 am #

    Well, I don’t agree with the opinions of the writer, but there is one bit of truth to it, that I can personally agree with and that is,

    “Being a pastor’s wife, particularly an evangelical Christian pastor’s wife, is one of the hardest jobs there is.”

    However, I don’t personally consider being married to a pastor a ‘job’, but rather who I married. I think for many pastors’ wives we support our husbands in various ways, some of us by working outside of the home so he can fully give himself to the ministry and not have to work a second job (or third as is the case for some pastors). This is one way I particularly support my husband’s call to vocational ministry. Yet, many Christians call us ‘worldly’ for doing so, even liberal.

    I think what this writer, as well as many Christians don’t get, is there are many ‘flavors’ of pastors’ wives. We don’t fit a mold and shouldn’t. We should be who God created each of us to individually be. From reading a lot about Mrs. Graham and many of her writings, I think I can say that she was doing what God called her to be. It may not look like what the world thinks women should be, or even what other pastors’ wives, but she was being who and what God called her to be and using the gifts and talents that he gave her.

    God bless Ruth Graham and her family and pastors’ wives everywhere living their lives in accordance to God’s plan for their lives and their family.

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