Saturday, June 30, 2007

No Judgement For Those In Christ Jesus

I've been doing a lot of reading about Ruth Bell Graham and her parents and children ever since she passed. I can't express how much I admire her legacy and how valuable her witness a la Titus 2 - she has been an example to all women. But do you know what is the best thing? She was not judgmental. She accepted people where they were, no matter their weaknesses - and I'm talking about people she knew who had the problems of alcoholism and drug abuse, which are very serious dependencies. She merely loved. She let God do the judging. And that is the best example of all.

I've also read a lot more about her children. The oldest, Gigi has been divorced and remarried in a very short time. This has not been trumpeted too much in the media, but I think it is a fact. Gigi was married to a Stephan Tchividjian, a psychologist I'd heard on the radio. He was older than she by enough to make a difference, and she was married to him at age 17 and off they went to Switzerland to live, where they had 7 children. I don't know when they were married or how many years they were married, but a divorce was sought by one or the other and granted some time around 2005. Gigi then went on to marry someone named Chris Foreman, I believe - and they were seen fighting in a KMart parking lot in 2006. She was jailed overnight for spousal abuse at that time.

You know what I think? I think it was very hard being Billy Graham's daughter. I won't go into any psychological stuff about what might have motivated Gigi's actions over the years - because remember, only God knows the heart. It is not our place to judge - and one of my all time favorite phrases, "there but for the grace of God go I" is a great reminder never to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. I wish Gigi had a blog, or an email address because you know what I would do? I would send her an email letting her know that I understand because I, too, am a sinner. I can't explain how the love of Christ demands that we love and not judge. And not just the love of Christ, but the justice - how dare we presume to pass judgement on anyone on the basis of their sins. Now, I'm not talking about the legal process - I'm talking about loving another human being as Christ loves them. Period.

Gigi - wherever you are - I'd go to hear you speak. Don't be condemned for the problems you've had or decisions you have made - but just remember that Jesus loves you as much as He has loved your mother AND your father - it doesn't depend on you, it depends on Him and His nature.

This also applies to other Graham children who have divorced (I think Ned did, also) and who have born the burden of a very visible, absent, famous parent - not just famous, but famous for being GOOD.

I admire and feel love for the whole Graham family because we are sisters and brothers in Christ, and because they are REAL.


Anonymous said...

Gigi, Ruth and Ned G
Graham have all divorced and re-married in recent years, Ruth twice. While separation and divorce is not forbidden by the Bible while the former partner is still alive, re-marriage is.

Susan Humeston said...

But grace and forgiveness for sin trumps all.

Anonymous said...

Why shouldnt Bill Keller and any other ministers and ministries see this as an effort on the part of the IRS to keep clergy from speaking out on anything to do with politics? Must ministries give up first amendment rights to retain a 501-C status?