Ruth Bell Graham quotes, Part 3

Another Bible verse she implemented in her child-rearing was: "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof.... Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock" (1 Peter 5:2-3). From this verse she determined that being a disciplinarian wasn't enough: She also had to be an example. The more she corrected and shaped her children the more convinced she was of what she viewed as her own flaws: "The children misbehave," she wrote, "I reprimand them sharply-- more probably peevishly. The very tone of voice irritates them (I know because if it were used on me it would irritate me). They answer back-- probably in the same tone. I turn on them savagely (I hate to think how often! And how savage a loving mother can be at times). And I snap 'Don't you speak to your mother like that. It isn't respectful.' Nothing about me-- actions, tone of voice, etc.-- commanded respect. It doesn't mean I am to tolerate sass or back-talk. But then I must be very careful not to inspire it either."


Ruth subscribed to a dog-training magazine and even "implemented rules" from it . The notes in parenthesis are hers.
  1. Keep commandments simple and at a minimum. One word to a command and always the same word. Come. Sit. Stay. Heel. Down. No. Etc. Etc. (I talk my children dizzy.)
  2. Never give a command without seeing it obeyed.
  3. Be consistent.
  4. When the dog responds correctly- praise him. Not with food. (And also don't reward the children materially. Your praise should be enough.)
A true mother, she recorded, "is not merely a provider, housekeeper, comforter or companion. A true mother is primarily and essentially a trainer."


In the main, discipline was rather forgotten when Billy was home. "Daddy would come home from a trip and break all the rules," GiGi said.
"Oh, let them stay up a little later," he'd say to Ruth when it was time to turn the television off and tuck the children in bed. "I hardly get to see them." He'd give them candy, gum, and soda pop during the week when he knew the rule was that they were only to be indulged on Sundays. And when the five young faces looked up to Ruth after their father had just granted them permission to break her rules, she would say with a smile, "Whatever your Daddy says is fine with me."
When he was home he conducted family devotions and told the children stories and played games with them, especially at bedtime, when he'd imitate a spider and creep through the house while the children scattered and screamed in delight. He was affectionate, frequently stopping them in the hallway to hug or kiss them, or perhaps sneak them away for a hike on the mountain. It delighted them when he and Ruth would "smooch", as the children called it. He was boyishly demonstrative, sometimes whisking Ruth away from the stove to waltz her around the kitchen; throughout the day he held her hand or sat her in his lap, the two of them laughing and teasing like highschool sweethearts. "His love and tenderness toward her were something we daughters looked for in our husbands," Bunny remarked.


  1. Really enjoying these quote posts.

    That first paragraph hit home. Need to watch what I am inspiring. :o)

  2. Oh these are all so good. The first paragraph was convicting for me as well. When my kids speak in a careless tone of voice, I am all too aware of where they picked it up. I need to watch that. Thanks for sharing all of these quotes, Stacy!

  3. I think I need to read this, some great wisdom and very entertaining. Thanks for sharing.


  4. I like your new layout look, very fun!
    Love these posts on this book! I need to add this book to my list.
    I am always so encouraged by your posts!
    Have you read 'Hope Unseen' by Scott Smiley? Just came out earlier this month...this post made me think of it because it was written by a friend of Franklin Graham's son...and you had said a few posts back that you were looking for a few good reads...well it is that! Enjoy!


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