Prominent speaker and author Anne Graham Lotz has said she is proud to call herself an "evangelical feminist," as her famous parents, Billy and Ruth Graham, taught her to be strong in her convictions and stand up for the Gospel.
In a blog post shared on her personal website in honor of International Women's Day, Lotz, the founder of AnGel Ministries, first explained that "evangelical feminism" should not be confused with the secular definition of "feminism."
"An evangelical feminist is a woman who is a strong, bold, free-spirited leader inside and outside of her home, unashamed of her faith in God, His Word, His Son, and His Gospel. With that definition, I would identify myself as an evangelical feminist," she wrote on Tuesday.
"If 'evangelical feminism,' means women who know what they believe, who are strong in their convictions, who are bold in their actions, who are courageous to stand up and speak out for Jesus Christ while being godly wives and mothers, then I celebrate them today. And I would be honored to be counted in their number," Lotz, 67, added.
She reflected that she was raised in an evangelical home where "women were respected, honored, and who held significant positions of leadership," recalling the many strong and successful women in her family. Lotz also said that her mother, Ruth Graham, could also have been considered an evangelical feminist.
"I am convinced there would not be a Billy Graham as we have known him, if there hadn't been a Ruth Graham beside him. She never felt staying home to raise five children a demeaning burden. Instead, she considered it the highest privilege she could be given," Lotz continued.
"She was an artist, a pianist, an intellect who read everything available, and an authority on early American log cabins. She cared for sick neighbors, stayed in touch with missionary friends, helped my father write his many best-selling books, supervised the running of a large, unique household so that my father was free to give full attention to his preaching, learned to ride a Harley-Davidson and to hang-glide."
Speaking to Decision Magazine several years ago, Lotz recalled how her father was not initially accustomed to the strong-willed, and often well-informed, opinions of his wife, but soon grew to love and respect them.
"My daddy didn't have to seek my mother's advice to get it," she said. "I remember a time she [told] about him fussing at her because he just didn't want her opinion. He does not like opinionated women, and he [had] a house full of them. It takes awhile for a man who's been living independently to take on his partner and consult her. I think in some of those stories Daddy was just learning to be a husband. ... Today he would not only consult her opinion, he would respect it and honor it and listen to her."
International Women's Day, originally called International Working Women's Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year. First observed in the United States in 1909, International Women's Day is described as "a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities."
Today, IWD is observed by women all around the world.