Not many families are considered a “dynasty.”
And only one is credited with building a “Duck Dynasty.”
But I guess that’s the way you’d expect a family like the Robertsons to be characterized. After all, the family patriarch, Phil Robertson, turned down an opportunity for a professional football career because it would interfere with duck hunting season.
They’ve also built a highly successful duck call business, have starred in a record-breaking cable television series for several years now, and the men of the family are all well-known for wearing beards that have become something of a cultural icon.
Well, almost all of the men.
The lone holdout (at least to this point) is Al Robertson, the oldest brother of the famous Duck Commander family. I’m excited to have him and his wife, Lisa, as our guests for the next three programs.
If you’re a fan of the show, you already know that as ubiquitous as their beards and love for camouflage outfits is their commitment to Jesus Christ. Every show ends with the family gathered around the dinner table, their heads bowed in prayer.
But as well-known as they are now for their Christian faith, it wasn’t always that way.
Al’s parents, Phil and Miss Kay, didn’t become Christians until Al was almost 10 years old. In fact, he remembers at the age of 7 sitting in the top of a tree overlooking the bar his parents owned. Almost nightly, there would be fights, police cars showing up, and drunken patrons shooting dice and pulling knives on one another. The Robertsons lived wild.
So when Phil and Miss Kay turned their hearts over to Christ, Al started to believe there really was a God and that He could do miracles in people’s lives. Their transformation was immediate and unmistakable, and Al was amazed by the change in his dad. Phil went from the worst reprobate in town to leading people to Christ seemingly overnight.
But his parents conversion didn’t inspire Al to commit his life to the Lord right away. As he entered his teen years, darkness began to overtake his life. What began as curiosity with drugs and alcohol quickly took prominence in his life.
During this time is when, as Al says it, he “unfortunately” met Lisa, his future-wife-to-be. He uses the word “unfortunately” because instead of being a knight in shining armor to lead her out of her own troubled life, he took her deeper into it.
From the age of 7 until she was 14, an alcohol- and drug-addicted uncle sexually molested Lisa. Feeling damaged and worthless, she became promiscuous and had an abortion at the age of 16. Her next baby was premature and nearly died, and her next pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. She was convinced God was punishing her.
As happens in so many marriages, all of the pain Al and Lisa carried into their relationship began to tear their life asunder.
Fifteen years into their marriage, Lisa had an affair that lasted 14 months.
It was a definitive moment in their marriage. The choice between divorce and reconciliation hung in the balance.
That razor-thin edge may be the very place where your marriage is teetering right now. If so, I urge you to tune in to our radio program for our conversation with the Robertsons.
You’ll discover that, no matter what you’ve done or how your relationship has gotten to the difficult place you find yourself, God is a God of love, forgiveness, and care. We may carry the regret of our decisions, but it’s not God’s heart to punish us.
Al and Lisa say that honesty is what you and your spouse need. You have to see the truth of who you are and see the need for someone to rescue you.
If you are a Christian and have embraced His forgiveness, then by His strength you have the capacity to forgive in a way you may not fully realize yet. If you haven’t experienced Christ’s love and grace, then you may not understand that God can use your brokenness and redeem it.
Again, I encourage you to tune in for our program titled, “Staying Committed Through the Rough Seasons of Life,” for the answers you’ve been searching for. You can hear it on your local radio station, tune in anytime online, or listen via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.
Before I close, I want to point you to our counseling services and our Focus on the Family Marriage Institute. If you’re facing a tough spot in your marriage, give us a call today. We have counselors available to listen and pray with you and to provide tools to help strengthen your marriage.
And if your marriage difficulties are as dramatic as Al and Lisa’s, and you’re on the brink of divorce, the Marriage Institute can go a long way toward restoring your hope, facilitating healing between you and your spouse, and bringing restoration to your relationship. They create the right environment, and the Lord can do wonderful things.
Please give us a call. I think you’ll be glad you did. We’re here to help you. Our counseling line here at Focus is 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459), and the number for the Family Marriage Institute is 1-866-875-2915 or visit online at nationalmarriage.com.