Billy Graham passed away on Feb. 21, 2018. Shortly after his father’s homegoing, Franklin Graham wrote the following. Let this reflection inspire you as you seek to set an example for those in your own circle of influence.
“I remember a conversation I had with my father several years back when he mentioned how much he missed his father—and, at that time, his father had been dead for over 40 years,” Franklin Graham wrote shortly after Billy Graham’s homegoing. “Now that my father has gone to Heaven I can better relate to what he was feeling. Not only do I miss him now, but I believe I will miss him every day until the day I see him again—in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In the weeks after Billy Graham’s passing, Franklin also shared life lessons he learned from his world-renowned father:
“I’ve learned so much from my father through the years. When Reverend Sami Dagher from Lebanon spoke at the funeral service, he talked about how my father was a teacher, even though he never used a blackboard or a computer—he taught by example. That was a wonderful illustration and so true. I’m very grateful that God gave me parents who set an example, not only for us at home, but for the whole world to see.
“For the last 12 years, I have been working on a book about lessons I learned from my father. I am calling it Through My Father’s Eyes. My father taught me about God and His Word. He taught me never to question the truth and authority of God’s Word. God says it—that’s it. No arguing. Not only did he teach me about the Word of God, but he was faithful to follow it in his life. Even if he didn’t understand it all, he still believed it.
“I learned from my father how to lead a ministry and the importance of accountability to supporters with standards and policies needed for transparency.
“I learned from his generosity. After my mother died, my father told me, ‘Franklin, I want to make sure that I give what I have away to the Lord’s work while I’m still alive.’ Over the last decade, he did. We finally had to remind him that he was living longer than he had planned—and we were very glad—but he needed to also consider the years God might still give him. After about age 90, he had nurses and caregivers in the home to assist him. These people became like our family. All of us children love them, and Daddy loved them.
“The most important thing my father taught me is that Jesus Christ is God’s Son who took your sins and mine to the cross, shed His blood for our sins, died in our place, and God raised him to life. He taught me that we needed to preach that message with urgency until Christ returns. That’s exactly what I plan to do.”
Consider how you can be the father God wants you to be—or how you can support the fathers around you as they raise their children, no matter what age.