Happy Mother’s Day! This time last year, I was privileged to sit down and talk with Duck Dynasty’s Korie Robertson. She was in Virginia Beach for a Mother’s Day celebration with 220 women (click here to watch Korie and her mom, Chrys Howard, talk about motherhood and what it’s taught them about God), but during our private conversation, I didn’t ask her much about raising a family.
Instead, I peppered Korie with questions about marriage.
Korie and Willie have been married for 30+ years, but they’ve known one another much longer than that. In fact, their first “date” was when they were third graders. Korie cracked me up when she revealed that, back then, Willie did NOT have a beard.
You may know that the Robertsons just welcomed a daughter-in-law, and it feels like every time I open Instagram, there’s a new grandbaby on board. Korie would be the first to tell you that their family–and their marriage–isn’t perfect, but they’re obviously doing something right. What, I wondered, was their secret to creating a love that lasts?
Noting that she and Willie got married young (at just 18 and 19 years old), Korie says they had a lot of growing up to do. One of the most important lessons she learned early on was that it pays to bring kindness into your home. You want to be “as kind to your spouse,” she says, “as you are to the person you see in the grocery store.”
Additionally, Korie cautioned against creating a “child-centric home,” one where the kids command all your best love and attention. As she put it in her book, Strong and Kind, “I love my children with all my heart and soul, but I’m in love with their daddy, not with them. That’s a big distinction.”
We talked about all sorts of things, from the importance of letting your kids see that your marriage isn’t perfect to the value of investing in your relationship now so that you’ll keep having fun in the empty nest years. I posted a short clip of our convo on Instagram; if you want to watch the whole thing, I’m sharing the interview here as resource exclusively for my email friends (and as an extra little thank you to those of you who have ordered the new marriage book).
The video is about nine minutes long; click below if you’d like to watch!
My favorite part of the conversation (surprise, surprise) was when Korie talked about prayer. She called it the “cornerstone” of their marriage.
“[During] those times when it has gotten hard,” Korie said, “whenever we have come together and prayed together, [that] broke down all the barriers. Any bitterness or anger you might have for somebody, when you come together and pray together, you have to lay it all down because you see that person as a child of God, just like you are.
“And you can offer grace to them just like you hope they will offer it to you.”
Prayer breaks down barriers.
So true. And so good.
Many of you are following along with Robbie and me as we pray together every day this month. If not, there’s still time to jump in; click here to download the free prayer calendar…
…or join us on my Instagram stories, where we’re featuring a simple–but powerful–prayer verse every day. Here are a few topics we’ve covered so far:
See how easy that is? Even for couples like Robbie and me–couples whose prayer styles don’t always mesh–pausing for a minute or two every day and inviting God into the conversation can be transformational. It really does, as Korie says, break down barriers. It creates intimacy. And it fosters a climate in which love can flourish.
P.S. Speaking of love… many thanks to my incredible daughter-in-law, Mary, who filmed my conversation with Korie. Here she is, tucked between Korie and Chrys:
Mary comes from her own Duck Dynasty; she has been sitting in blinds with her dad, Julian (and with his father too), since almost before she could talk, and today she’s all about conserving wetlands and wildlife habitats for future generations to enjoy.
I’m not a hunter, but after raising four kids of my own, I can’t help but admire Julian’s parenting motto: Hunt with your children, not for them. 😊
Have a wonderful Mother’s Day – and may the Lord cause you to flourish, both you and your children! (Psalm 115:14)