God provided the perfect partner for Billy Graham in Ruth McCue Bell. Her missionary upbringing, strength of character, sense of humor, fervent compassion and steadfast devotion to God’s Word all combined to produce the one of whom Mr. Graham said: “Whenever I was asked to name the finest Christian I ever met, I always replied, ‘My wife, Ruth.’”
After her first date with Billy Graham, Ruth McCue Bell went back to her room, knelt beside her bed and prayed: “Lord, if You’d let me serve You with that man, I’d consider it the greatest privilege of my life.”
Billy was equally smitten. “I just could not believe that anyone could be so spiritual and so beautiful at one and the same time,” he said.
Both of them felt with certainty that God had led them together, even prepared them for each other. Ruth had grown up in China, the daughter of medical missionary Dr. L. Nelson Bell and his wife, Virginia. She had been deeply in love with the Lord and committed to Him since early childhood. Billy’s commitment to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ had been sealed during his days at Florida Bible Institute.
But there was one minor problem that kept coming up in their relationship.
“She wanted me to go with her as a missionary to Tibet!” Billy wrote in Just As I Am. Ruth had dreamed of becoming a missionary to Tibet since childhood.
After many long discussions, Ruth’s mind began to turn.
“It’s remarkable how two strong minds (or wills) can gradually begin to sort of fuse together,” she wrote once to her parents. “Or maybe we’re learning to give in and don’t realize it.”