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Meditation 679: No, Dr. Graham; the answer is NOT in the Bible

by: John Tyrrell

This Meditation is related to the examination of the fifth commandment in Reflection 6

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Sunday was Mothers' Day, and the Billy Graham column[1] tried to publish an appropriate question and response for the occasion.

The question: (emphasis added)

We're expecting our first baby in a few months, and to be honest I'm scared to death about being a mother. My own mother was not a good role model (drugs, running around, finally abandoning us), and I never learned how to be a good mother. Does the Bible say anything about this?

And how did Dr. Graham (or his ghostwriter) answer?

Yes, the Bible has much to say about motherhood - and the reason is because motherhood is one of God's greatest gifts[2] to the human race. This is why the Bible says, "Honour your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you." (Deuteronomy 5:16)

Good grief! Did whoever wrote that answer actually read the question - the part where the writer wrote "My own mother was not a good role model (drugs, running around, finally abandoning us)"? Honouring her mother is not going to give her the slightest hint of how to be a good parent herself.

But surely, as Dr. Graham's reply opened with "Yes, the Bible has much to say about motherhood," he must have produced a selection of other biblical passages telling the writer how to be a good mother? No; not one. In the remainder of his reply, he came up with one single verse (Proverbs 1:8)[3] which requires a child to listen to his parents' teaching (not what that teaching is to consist of), but not one single verse which dealt with how to be a good mother.

In light of this, I suggest the opening statement of Dr. Graham's reply was a falsehood. If a Bible scholar and theologian like Dr. Graham could not find something in the Bible appropriate to answer the question about being a good mother, then it is a reasonable conclusion that there is diddly-squat in that particular book on the issue.

The only way to claim the Bible has all the answers, (as many Christians seem to think,) it is necessary to ignore or wildly misinterpret the question.


  1. My Answer by Billy Graham, Calgary Sun, 11 May 2008, p 44.
  2. Genesis 3:16 "In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children." Some gift! Some God!
  3. Proverb 1:8 "Hear, my son, your father's instruction And do not forsake your mother's teaching"


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