"Duck Dynasty" star Miss Kay Robertson gave her testimony at a Christian event in the fall of last year, sharing some life lessons she has learned and stressing the importance of fighting for marriage. Though she didn't prepare a speech, Kay spoke from the heart and fans were able to see that she is as sweet and down-to-earth as she seems on television.
"Three things I want you to learn from me," Miss Kay began - "What I do, is I try to find joy in my journey in life - I try to find joy in everything." Anyone who has seen "Duck Dynasty" knows this to be true - Miss Kay has a delightful sense of humor, and seems to enjoy life alongside her husband and four sons.
"Another thing I want you to learn is how to overcome difficulty by being determined to never give up," Kay continued - a lesson she took to heart while being married for several years before her husband came to know Christ.
Phil and Kay were married when they were sixteen and eighteen years old. Miss Kay's grandmother told her that she would have to fight for her marriage one day, but the young girl dismissed the thought - her marriage would turn out "happily ever after," like the books she had read. "I thought, bless her heart, she's just so old - she doesn't know what she's talking about ... but I found that out the hard way," says Kay.
Phil got caught up in the party scene as a football player in college, and began to drink excessively. He neglected his family to the point that a nearby church was helping provide for Miss Kay and their three children, and ran from the law for months after getting in a fight at the bar that he owned. While Phil was off to the woods, a young and scared Miss Kay handled the police and court system, getting her husband off on probation.
Miss Kay says that her first ten years of marriage with Phil were absolutely miserable - "He was horrible. He was a rascal ... but I didn't want to give up on my marriage. I did not give up because God told me to fight for that marriage, and I did - and it made it through," she says.
The Robertson men credit Miss Kay for holding the family together when times were very hard. "None of you would have heard one word about Jesus from my Dad if it wasn't for my Mom," Jase has preached in the past - it was Kay's determination to fight for her marriage and, later, her hope in Christ which kept her going in the midst of poverty, neglect, and verbal abuse.
One night, Miss Kay locked herself in the bathroom, overwhelmed by her struggles. "People who say they have no hope - I can say I've been there," she says. Miss Kay reasons that although you can survive for quite some time without food and water, "Sometimes you feel like you can't live at all without hope." Kay thought she didn't want to live anymore - "I thought if I could just go to sleep and not wake up ... I wanted Phil to be punished, I wanted him to realize what he was doing. When you're in that state you just don't think clearly, is all I can say - and I didn't."
Thankfully, God used her three boys to save her that night. "Mama - don't cry anymore, God's going to take care of you ... He will take care of all of us," her ten-year-old son, Alan, said outside the bathroom door. "I felt like right then, God told me 'I've got plans for you,'" says Kay. The next day, she gave her heart to Jesus Christ.
Kay shared her marital struggles with a pastor, who counseled her - "When you have Jesus living in you, you have hope forever ... You will have the Holy Spirit living in you, and you have Help," he said. The pastor told her that when she got home, her husband would still be a drunk -"He's still going to call you names, and he's still going to be mean - but you have Help. You're never going to be alone again ... You have got to live for the next world, not for this one."
"It was the truest thing that anybody could ever say to you," Kay says.
After coming to know the Lord, Kay began to change. "I just began to pray, and pray, and pray," she says. Phil teased her about her new faith in Christ, and was so hurtful toward her that even Phil's family encouraged Miss Kay to leave him. "I'm in this for life," she told them, determined to make her marriage last. Phil later kicked Miss Kay and their three children out of the house - "I can't live with a Holy Roller another minute," he told her.
"We left that night, the little boys with tears down their eyes," remembers Kay. She told them to have courage - "We're going to follow God, and we're going to be strong."
By God's grace, Phil came to Christ soon afterward; the Lord has since done a miraculous work in his life, and Phil is now a loving and devoted husband. He shared his testimony on "I Am Second" last fall, giving glory to Jesus Christ for saving him.
Today, Phil and Miss Kay share their story openly with others - "We want other people to know that a broken family can be healed," she says. Her third pearl of wisdom is all about family - "Build a strong foundation with your family, because you need them and they need you. That's very important," she says.