I missed the whole phenomenon of Duck Dynasty. I was out of the country when it made it’s splash on A&E. And I’m not a huge fan of reality television and so I likely would have missed it anyway. I’m not about to try and catch up now. But I was touched by Kay Robertson’s honesty in recounting the struggles of her early marriage and how Jesus rescued her in the video by “I am Second”. There were three lessons that stood out to me.
1. Great marriages don’t just happen.
Kay lost her father when she was just fourteen. When Phil, the captain of the football team, expressed the compassion to attend her father’s funeral and be a support to her, her heart was won over. A teenage pregnancy led her to get married at age sixteen and she assumed that she’d live happily ever after. But her grandmother wisely cautioned her, “Somewhere in life you’re going to have to fight for your marriage.” Not all of our seniors at Grace have the physical strength to carry out formal ministries anymore, but we sure need their wisdom! I’m grateful for the grandmothers and grandfathers and spiritual parents in our congregation who can say with authority that marriage is tough but it’s worth fighting for. In Kay’s case, her grandmother’s words probably saved her marriage from divorce. Fighting for marriage for Kay involved facing poverty for the first time in her life, learning to live off whatever Phil could hunt, and dealing with his descent into alcoholism. The ‘happily-ever-after’ seldom comes without a fight.
2. Jesus really is the answer.
Phil’s drinking got progressively worse. And the added stress of raising three little boys became more than she could handle. Many women could probably relate to her response when he accused her of having an affair. She laughed and said with exasperation, “When would I have time for that?” Eventually it was all too much and she considered suicide. But it was her son’s words that made her question herself when he encouraged her not to cry and said ‘God’s gonna take care of us.’ She was struck both by his mention of God as well as the realization that if she were to die, there wouldn’t be anyone to care for her sons. She turned to God in prayer, began to attend church and having heard the good news of Jesus’ salvation, turned from her sins and trusted Him. And Jesus did amazing things in her life and in their marriage. There are so many other things that she might have turned to at that point, but nothing that would bring the transformation Jesus accomplished. Jesus really is the answer.
3. Faith requires patience.
When Kay put her faith in Christ and was baptized, I was taken aback by her pastor’s frankness: “You have Jesus Christ in you. But [your husband] is still controlled by the devil.” He wasn’t exaggerating. At this point, Phil’s alcohol addiction was destroying their marriage. Kay’s new faith only made him more angry. He told her that he was sick of her and she was ruining his life. I can only imagine what she must have felt. But she had been encouraged that faith requires patience and so she was able to stand firm. He demanded she get out of his life and although she complied and left, she continued to pray. She continued to believe that God might use the pain in his life to draw him to faith. Eventually, He did. Phil showed up at her work in tears and Kay made sure he got help from the only one who could help. He heard the gospel for the first time that evening and he declared, “I’m gonna be as wide open for good and for God and for my neighbour as I was for the evil one and living this sinful lifestyle.” He put his faith in Christ and God turned his life upside down. He now serves as an elder of his church and has baptized more than 300 people, taking every opportunity he can to testify to Jesus Christ. I’m glad that Kay was encouraged to be patient!
In awe of Him,