“Duck Dynasty” star Sadie Robertson began the new year by delivering an impassioned sermon before thousands of young adults at Passion 2020 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, offering insight into how her relationship with her husband, Christian Huff, developed.
Robertson, who married Huff in early December, gave a 35-minute message on Wednesday titled “The Search is Over.”
The 22-year-old actress and reality star challenged young adults by telling them that the answer to their life struggles can’t be found on their cell phones or through social media but rather through a commitment to Christ.
Toward the beginning of her sermon that focused on the book of John, she described how early disciples such as Peter dropped everything in an instant to follow Jesus when given the opportunity.
“They heard it was the Messiah [and] they followed Him. It was like, wherever Jesus was, they were magnetic. They followed Him,” she stressed. “You know, relationships nowadays a lot of times start by a follow. But there is a long process that goes from the follow to the actual commitment to being in a relationship with you. But here, there was no process. It was just like, ‘I'm just gonna follow you because you're the Messiah.’”
Robertson said that her own relationship with her husband was very much a work in progress that started with a follow.
Robertson explained that she and Huff, who was a friend of her sister, “kind of got together” because of Passion, which is an annual gathering of young adults founded by Louie and Shelley Giglio that began in 1997.
“We were at Passion. I wasn't speaking. I was just attending,” she told the crowd. “I love Passion and have been here for four years. Christian was attending and he somehow saw me. So he messaged me on Instagram. And it was a pretty bold message, OK?”
“It's really sweet,” she continued. “It was really kind. He told me I was beautiful. But here's the thing. I didn't see that message until two years later.”
After two years, Robertson said she and Huff met in person and she thought he was “pretty cute.” When she followed him on Instagram, she received a notification telling her that he tried to send her a message two years prior.
“So I craft my message and I'm like, ‘Sorry for the late reply.’ We start the process,” she explained. “We start DMing.”
She said that she and Huff, 21, had the “most stereotypical Christian relationship start.”
After two weeks, she said Huff sent her a sermon through direct message on the topic of dating, engagements and marriage.
“Then continuing on the process, we start texting, but that's not talking,” she said. “Once we start actually talking on the phone, now we're continuing on the process. Then, Christian decides to come out to Nashville and take me on a date. We go on a date. But we're not official.”
“There's a process. We start dating,” she continued, adding that they eventually agreed to become “official” boyfriend and girlfriend.
“And then these three words started coming out,” she said. “Not the big words but the ‘I like you.’”
At that point, Robertson said she was kind of nervous about how serious it was getting between her and Huff.
She explained that she then started pulling out her “A-game” whenever Huff would come to town by doing things like getting tans and getting her nails done.
“I'm embarrassed to say this but I’m going to be honest with y'all, I started practicing the dance moves I was gonna do in the car on our way to our dates because I wanted to pull it all out,” Robertson admitted.
However, Robertson stressed that no one wants to stay in the “I-like-you” stage of a relationship. Although she wanted to rush through the I-like-you phase, Huff did not rush despite her frustration.
One time when they went on a beach vacation, Robertson said that Huff told her that he more than liked her but wasn’t ready to say that yet. That night, she said they had a tough conversation.
“And this conversation was different than a lot of other conversations we had,” Robertson said. “It wasn’t practiced. It wasn't cute. It wasn't very agreeable. It probably didn't bring much satisfaction to the ears to hear. It was real. It was raw. It was like hours of tears and this is what I've experienced and this is what I've been through to make me who I am today.”
She added that the conversation was “not pretty” or cute.
“As we begin to talk, we actually truly begin to know each other,” Robertson expressed. “And something that went a lot further than just being liked by each other. And it was actually the next day that Christian looked at me said, ‘I love you.’ Isn't that crazy? That after a moment that wasn't very likable, I got to hear the words ‘I love you.’”
Robertson said that even though God is awesome in the fact that He brought her and Huff into marriage, there was a process.
“It's a lot different than when you find the desire of your soul,” she said. “There's not a process.
They immediately dropped everything they had and they just begin to follow Him.”
Robertson told the audience that Jesus “skips” the phase of confusion in a typical human relationship.
“He skips the carrying you along,” she said. “He's like, ‘what are you seeking?’ He skips the [period of] leaving our options open for a little while to see how this works out. He's like, ‘Yeah, I know you're a fisherman. Drop your net because I'm going to make you a fisher of men.’”
“He skips that whole ‘I like you’ phase and goes straight to ‘I love you,’” she continued, citing John 3:16.
She warned that sometimes people think there is a process they must go through to commit to a relationship with God.
“We think we have to go through that whole flow,” she cautioned. “[We think] ‘I don't know if God really likes me because I didn't do this, this or this, or I didn't perform well or I don't read enough or I don't do enough.’”
“We're not waiting on God to like us enough for Him to say, ‘Hey, Jesus go.’ He's not sitting up there in Heaven saying, ‘Hold up, let's wait until the sun hits them just right, let's wait till golden hour or let's wait until they say the thing,’” she contended. “Because before the foundation of the world began, He knew you, He knit you together in your mother's womb. So He can skip all that and fully commit to dying for you while you were still a sinner. It wasn't about you being liked.”
Pastor Louie Giglio is the founder of the annual Passion gathering. Passion City Church, which began in 2009, now has two locations in Atlanta and another in Washington, D.C.