Here at Focus on the Family we’re joining with believers around the world in remembering Dr. Billy Graham and his amazing life and legacy. I hope you had a chance to listen to today’s special radio program featuring a message from the famed evangelist. He is considered the most important and influential evangelist of our time, and rightly so.
Although Focus is a ministry centered on marriage and parenting, it’s no secret that evangelism is central to everything we do. Similarly, I am struck by just how much Dr. Graham, the preeminent evangelist, had to say about the institution of the family! Here are just two examples from over the years.
The 4 Cs of Marriage
“I could say much about building a strong marriage—but I’ve sometimes summarized them in four simple points that might be easy to remember. Let me repeat them; each begins with the letter ‘C.’
First, Cherish. God gave you to each other; you are God’s gift to your spouse. Take time to express your love, both by your words and by little acts of thoughtfulness—a surprise gift, a special time away, a favorite dinner. Cherish your wife, and let her know she is important to you.
Second, Communicate. Let each other know what’s going on in your life at home or at work. Don’t clam up; don’t nag or only express yourself when you’re upset. The Bible says, ‘A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver’ (Proverbs 25:11).
Third, Compromise. The greatest enemy of love is our selfishness, but in marriage you can’t always have your own way, so learn to compromise with grace. The Bible says, ‘Love does not demand its own way’ (1 Corinthians 13:5, The Living Bible).
Finally, Christ. Make Christ the center of your lives and your marriage every day, by committing yourself to Him and His will. He is the solid foundation we need—in our lives, and in our marriages.”
6 Principles of Parenting
“In the sight of God, parents are responsible for the training of their children. If parents fail, God is going to hold them responsible. I want to give a few suggestions to you Christian parents.
First: Take time with your children. Your children not only require a great deal of your time, but they long and hunger for it.
Second: Give your children ideals for living. Teach them moral and spiritual principles of life. Show them that only the morally and spiritually right attain genuine satisfaction in life.
Third: Set your children a good example. Many parents preach to their children but do not set a good example.
Fourth: Plan activities for your children. Plan things together as a family. Make the home so interesting and delightful that your children will want to stay home; then they will never miss the pranks that so many young people are engaged in for thrills.
Fifth: Discipline your children. The devil’s philosophy is: Do as you please. Children are going to be in society what they are in the home. The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, teaches that parents ought to discipline their children.
Sixth: Teach your children to know God, and bring them up in the church. Very seldom do parents have trouble with children when the Bible is read regularly in the home, grace is said at the table and family prayers take place daily. Most trouble with teenagers comes from children reared in homes where prayer is neglected, the Bible is never opened and church attendance is spasmodic.”
from the 1955 sermon “Responsibility of Parents”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! I’m thankful for Dr. Graham’s legacy, his passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and his commitment to the timeless truths of Scripture that apply to every area of life. There will never be another man like you, Dr. Graham. We rejoice in the knowledge that you are now in the presence of the God you so faithfully served over so many years.