Much like the men in their lives, Duck Dynasty's five leading ladies are outspoken about their faith in Jesus Christ and their desire to grow God's kingdom by sharing their testimonies with the people they meet. In their new book, The Women of Duck Commander, Miss Kay, Lisa, Missy, Korie and Jessica share never-before-told stories about the Robertson family, and how their reliance on God has enabled them to persevere through life's unforeseen challenges, heartaches and strife.
Within each chapter of the book, the Robertson wives give fans an inside look into their lives when the cameras are turned off and the trials of daily life begin. They also share what they really think about Phil's outspoken demeanor, and open up about the secret behind the family's success.
During an interview with The Christian Post, Missy, who is a co-author of the book along with Miss Kay and her three sisters-in-law, spoke candidly about her marriage to Jase, her relationship with her in-laws, and how they've been able to persevere through the most difficult challenges in their lives.
The following is an edited transcript of CP's interview with Missy Robertson:
CP: What do you want people to get from reading your sections of the book?
Missy: I want people to know that our family is not perfect, but we try to live worthy. We don't expect perfection from each other, and hopefully they don't expect perfection from me. But we have a lot of forgiveness — a lot of forgiveness. There's just no way, if you think about it, for a father and mother-in-law, four daughters-in-law, four husbands, brothers-in-law, cousins and grandkids to get along as well as we do without a lot of forgiveness because we're not perfect and we mess up all the time.
I think that one of our biggest qualities is just not taking each other so seriously; to laugh a lot, and then to forgive when we mess up. We have to or resentment will set in, which you see in so many families that just can't get along because they hold so many things for so long. It's sad for me to look at all of that that goes on in the world. But it just helps me to realize that I've got to keep truckin' on to make these relationships the way that they are.
CP: In the book, you talk about how you and Jase go to the Bible and read scriptures when one of your children is in a predicament. You share how you and Jase go to the Bible to find the root source of their problem and discuss why they're getting themselves into bad situations. Will you talk more about that process?
Missy: I would say that probably most teenagers out there — I can speak for myself and my children — they live by emotions. They live by who's accepting them, who's including them, who's leaving them out, who didn't call them today; it's a lot of emotion. When you're a teenager, your hormones are going wild and crazy all the time anyway, and there are so many things that you have going on at school and a lot of pressures. They have bad days just like adults do.
When we can tell that something is off balance, not right or something has happened — with teenagers, sometimes they just don't want to talk about that — you have to pull it out of them.
Jase is so good at reading that and knowing when to step in and when to let it go. And he'll just call them into the living room, it doesn't matter what time it is in the evening we can start at 9, 9:30 or 10 p.m., and he'll have everyone get their Bible. We'll all end up in the living room, Mia included, and we'll just go through some Scripture.
I think that's where the Holy Spirit comes in. We are fortunate and blessed enough to have a relationship with Jesus and have the Holy Spirit living within us, and to guide us and help us understand what's going on. And if we listen to the Holy Spirit inside of us, He helps to guide us to what to do next and what decision to make. And I really rely on that when it comes to my children and teenagers because they're all different, and they go through different things in life.
When we sit down in those nightly devotionals, or "come to Jesus" meetings as we sometimes like to call it, sometimes they're not well received with the teenage mentality. This is either because they're going through something and their heart's not right about something, or they're just having difficulty accepting something.
But they also have a relationship with Christ and they have the Holy Spirit living inside them that's also working on their hearts. And it's so comforting to know that: No. 1, they do have Him inside of them. But it's also comforting to know that our Father in heaven loves my kids more than I do.
To know and understand that is so refreshing and it relieves a lot of stress on me because it's not just me trying to control my kids but God is also out there watching them, monitoring them, and sending people their way, sending comfort and sending us as parents to help guide them.
CP: Do you and Jase pray together and also pray as a family?
Missy: We do. We pray together, we also pray with our family at night. A lot of times it's difficult with two teenage boys who are driving because they're very active and sometimes they come in late. But we pray with Mia every night, just like we did with the boys when they were little.
Prayer is a big part of our life and talking about Scripture is a big part of our life. We talk about what God wants us to do, what He expects of us and Jesus' sacrifice. None of that is a secret in our house. We talk about it quite often and it's almost on a daily basis.
CP: In Reed's "I Am Second" video, he talks about the darkest moments of his young life when he contemplated committing suicide. Being a preacher's daughter who grew up with a strong biblical foundation and one who is instilling those same values in your children, how did you and Jase work together to battle against those thoughts and feelings that Reed was experiencing?
Missy: There are so many teenagers who are driven by their emotions, and Reed is definitely one of those kids. Pile upon pile of bad days, negative thoughts and Satan coming after him. Satan knew that what we were about to do as a family was going to make a difference in a lot of people's lives and he didn't want that. And I know, for certain, that he targeted Reed because he felt like he could get to him.
There were many nights where I could hardly sleep knowing that Reed was not happy and that he had these thoughts. I was thinking: what if we wake up and he's gone in the morning, how are we going to handle that?
But we didn't just go to bed every night and say, "we're hoping for the best," and not try to talk this out with our kids. Communication definitely was the key in all of this — making him sit down and talk with us every night. Sometimes I would talk to him, sometimes Jase would talk to him, sometimes both of us would, and sometimes our youth minister would. It was just trying to get everything out in the open because Satan was telling him, "you're not worthy; you're not worthy of all of the things that are happening around you and to your family. And you're not good enough; you have too many mistakes in your life."
We wanted to make sure he wasn't believing all of the lies that Satan was throwing at him. Communication and prayer is how we got through that.
CP: Before you became pregnant with Mia, you suffered through a tubal pregnancy. Then while you were pregnant with Mia, you and Jase learned that she was going to be born with a cleft palate and would face many challenges because of that. You write that you and Jase prayed for God to heal Mia in the womb but He didn't. Yet, you didn't reject God or lose your faith in Him because of it. In fact, your faith grew stronger. Why is that?
Missy: Growing up in a Christian home and a Christian environment, I knew God cared for me. I knew He was out there and He wanted the best for me. He was not against me, He was for me. I knew that this was not something that God was doing to us. God does not bring sickness, trials, tribulation and challenges — that's the devil doing that.
Now, God allowed it. For some reason for His kingdom, for God's greater good, He wants this to happen. He wants to allow this and to allow us and our family to go through this. I didn't know why, at the time, of course. But I had enough trust and faith in God that He loved us and saw that we could handle it, and that we could also influence other people through what we were about to go through.
Mia's 10 years old now and looking back, especially over the last couple of years, we definitely see reasons for Him allowing us to go through this, and allowing Mia to go through the pain and the challenges that she has in her life.
When I see her onstage in front of thousands of people at one time sharing her story, I think, I would've never done this as a 10-year-old child. Being on a stage in front of 10,000 women talking about my faults and how I trust in God to help me through things. I would've been too nervous and self-conscious.
But even with a facial impairment, Mia is up there in front of thousands of women who are taking pictures of her and putting them all over the Internet, and she's perfectly fine with that. She is great about it. She wants to help other people.
To me, that speaks not only about a greatness about her, as an individual, but about the greatness of our God to see something in a child, long before she was born, that could help influence people and to bring them closer to Him. Who am I to question that about Him?
CP: What tips do you have for wives and mothers on how they can strengthen their relationships with their husbands and children?
Missy: First of all, I say communication is important, but I would say that faith has got to be the No. 1 thing in your marriage. If you don't have that, then you will always question whether the decision the spouse is making is for their own benefit and not for the benefit of the entire family.
I know, without a doubt, that the decisions that Jase makes — even though they're not always perfect — he is really looking out for the benefit of our family and not just him, personally. I have that trust and that faith in him, as he does in me.
Without faith as the No. 1 core of our marriage, then there would always be that question of selfishness. And I think it's the same with our kids. My kids know that I'm not perfect but I want what's best for my kids and the entire family in order to get them all to heaven.
They know that I love God more than anything else in the world and I think that's an appreciation that they have. I hope that they will see it in our marriage and they will take that into their own marriages when they get older, and with their own children — that they will keep their priorities set in stone, with God being first, and their spouse being second.
Listen to Korie talk about the first time she met Willie in her interview with publisher Simon and Schuster here.
Listen to Missy talk about the first time she met Jase in her interview with publisher Simon and Schuster here.