Phil Robertson had thought that a reality television show about his family that was not primarily focused on hunting would have little chance of success; he gave a disclaimer, though - it would only succeed if the Almighty so desired. As it would turn out, He did!
Phil is the patriarch of the "Duck Dynasty" Robertson household, famous for their redneck antics and being a tightly-knit family. While their faith may not be prominent on the show, the "Duck Dynasty" family demonstrates God-centered values in their everyday lives, and Phil prays in Jesus' name at the end of each episode over the family meal.
The Robertson family's business had flourished before A&E's "Duck Dynasty" aired. Willie Robertson told "The Five" that Duck Commander's success was largely in part because of Phil's contentment. "Dad started this business 40 years ago, and I think the key for him was he was content - kept those expectations down, didn't want too much too soon, and he was happy ... we think the Lord blessed us and here we are," he said.
When A&E first considered the show, Phil said that the producers did not want to film much hunting because it would upset viewers who might be disturbed by the notion. While hunting has not been cut out of the show altogether, is a large part of the Robertsons' lives and Phil was skeptical that the show would do well without their bread and butter - but, he said, "if God is behind it, it'll go all the way to the top."
Miss Kay believes that the show has become so popular because God has blessed them with a close family, where several generations of Robertsons have loving relationships - from grandparents Phil and Kay (and grand-Uncle Si) to their son Willie's generation and to their grandchildren. "It's the best thing in the whole world ... It's like you're reading about generations in the Bible, it's great," she said.
"America lost that, it's really a sad thing," said Phil in a video about his testimony. He told The 700 Club that the show's filming crew didn't know that such tight-knit extended families even existed anymore, yet the Robertson family is "a pretty fair picture of a godly family in America" - one that is hopefully more prevalent in our nation than the media portrays.
Phil says that the Robertson family is grounded because they are centered on Christ and they understand God's desire for them to respect and to love one another. "Once you lose [the disciplined respect for elders in the family] and it's not godly and it's not centered on Jesus," said Phil, shaking his head - "once that respect is broken there, they won't respect authority and it just breaks down. That's what's happened to [our country] - it's sad."
The pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, Kentucky seems to agree; he wrote of the show, "Duck Dynasty is like some funny, bearded, camouflaged oasis that reminds us that family can work ... I'm thankful for a bearded man and his family that model faith to a world desperately lacking examples. It turns out that the most important product Duck Commander markets isn't duck calls at all - it's family values rooted in faith."