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Ruth Bell Graham: Billy Graham’s Fierce Protector

Ruth wanted to make sure that Billy’s time at home was a restful break from his travels. However, even his brief times at home were filled with endless interviews with the press, mountains of letters to answer, and phone calls to take. Ruth was always close-at-hand to make sure Billy had what he needed and advise or soothe given the circumstance.

Ruth Graham and the children always treasured the time they had with Billy at home

Often, curiosity-seekers would drive past the “Private Property” sign to see the home of Billy Graham. On one occasion, a gentleman rang the Graham’s doorbell and said that he was Jesus Christ and that Billy was expecting him. Ruth went to the door and told him that he was most certainly not Jesus and that her husband was not expecting him. After he insisted further that he needed to speak with Billy immediately, Ruth reminded him that if he were Jesus, he wouldn’t have had to knock on the door – he could have just walked through the wall as Jesus did after His resurrection. Dumbfounded, the man fumbled for a response, and Ruth took the opportunity to shut the door.

Billy certainly recognized what a wonderful partner he had in Ruth. In a letter near their 20th wedding anniversary, Billy wrote to Ruth:

“How can I find words to express my appreciation for all you have meant to me? Your love and patience with me in my ups and downs…have meant more to me than you will ever know. Your counsel, advice, encouragement and prayer have been my mainstay—and at times I have almost clung to you in my weakness, in hours of obsession, problems and difficulties. ‘Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord.’ One reason that in spite of my own lack of spirituality, discipline and consecration I have found favor of the Lord is because of you. I found a good wife and as a result have found favor with God… It seems that in the recent months my capacity to love you has been increased—I did not think that age would bring greater and deeper love—but it has and is. I love the wife of my youth more every day! When we are apart, I miss you so much more than I used to. A week seems like a month. Yes, I am thankful to God for you. What a wonderful helpmeet He provided—certainly our marriage was planned in heaven. I am thankful for the five precious children you bore me—each one a bundle of joy. And what a wonderful mother you have been to them! No child ever had a greater mother than our children. You may compare yourself to Susanna Wesley and think you are a failure—but she did not rear her family in a modern, secular society. For our generation you are near perfection.”

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