The matriarch of the Duck Dynasty business empire says she hopes the upcoming film about her family will encourage couples to “fight for” their marriage when all hope seems lost, just as she did when her husband Phil kicked her and the children out of the home when they were younger.
The Blind (PG-13), scheduled to be released in theaters Sept. 28, tells the story of how Phil and Kay Robertson fell in love and then persevered during a split. Phil’s battles with anger and alcohol addiction are central to the plot.
During one key scene, an out-of-control and drunk Phil kicks Kay and their young kids out of the house at night. The scene is based on a real-life event.
“When Phil put us out, that was a humbling moment, a very humbling moment. And the boys were confused. They cried. I cried,” Kay Robertson told Christian Headlines. “... The boys would say, ‘Mom is daddy coming? Is daddy coming?’ And I'd say, ‘We're just gonna pray for him. We're gonna pray for him.’ And I said, ‘But we don't want him like he is, because the devil has a hold of him.’ And I would even say, ‘The devil is who's controlling your dad right now. And that's why he acts bad. He's a good man. But he needs God. And he needs the devil out of his life.’ And our boys would just pray for him every night.”
At the time, Phil Robertson was managing a bar. The Phil Robertson that Americans know today – a reality star businessman who wears his Christian faith on his sleeve – was years away.
Kay Robertson said she remembered the words her grandmother told her as a young girl: “You're gonna have to fight for your marriage.” The turning point in Phil’s life came during a conversation with Kay outside her work. Phil was crying.
“He looked at me and he said, ‘I can't eat. I can't drink. I don't want to keep living like this.’ And I said, ‘But the problem lies with you, Phil, it's not us.’ And he said, ‘Let me talk to that preacher that came to see me at the beer joint. I only want to talk to him.’ I said, ‘I'll get him.’”
Within days, Phil accepted Christ and was baptized. It is portrayed in the film.
“And Jason looked at and said, ‘I hope he won't cuss if he comes to church, because we'll be embarrassed.’ And I said, ‘Jason, we have to teach him how to talk,’” she told Christian Headlines.
The movie, she said, has lessons for today’s married couples. A marriage, she said, must involve a husband, a wife and God.
“You need to have patience. That's what I had. You've got to believe that God can do all things – all things,” she said.
Robertson has nearly 50 people in her family, including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“Phil will say, ‘I can't believe that we almost lost this, and now look what we have.’ And he tells me on a regular basis, ‘I'm so glad you stayed with me. I'm so glad you fought for our marriage.’ That's what I want people to know.”
Photo courtesy: ©Fathom, used with permission.
Video courtesy: ©The Blind
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.