, Corbin, KY

January 28, 2013

Life lessons from the Robertson family

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — During the Christmas season, Carmen and I make visits to my mom’s house, to her mom’s house, to her dad’s house, to my grandparents’ house and — if we can fit it into our schedule — to our own house. It keeps us on the road for a couple weeks, but we can’t complain about all the food, fun and gifts.

But if there is one gift that stuck out to me among all the others this past Christmas season, it was my in-laws introducing me to Willie, Jase, Phil and Uncle Si Robertson — that’s right, the main characters on the popular A&E TV show “Duck Dynasty.”

I had heard about it here and there from my mother-in-law, Linda, and also from Les and Chris in our Sports Department. And I’ll have to admit, it didn’t sound like a show that I would be too interested in.

But while I was munching down on my third plate of dinner at my mother-in-law’s house, “Duck Dynasty” was on TV in the background. And just hearing some of the things Uncle Si and the gang were talking about from the other room made me laugh. So after that night I got hooked, and it is now one of my favorite shows on TV right now.

Just watching what a bunch of millionaire “rednecks” do on a daily basis in between making duck calls absolutely cracks me up. I especially find it funny that Uncle Si shouts “Hey” before every other sentence, and always calls people “Jack.”

Using my DVR, I think I’ve just about caught myself up on all the episodes. But if a rerun happens to be on TV while I’m flipping through, I’ll still watch it and laugh just as much as I did the first time.

And while the show is really funny, that’s not the only thing I admire about the Robertson family.

You very rarely hear a curse word from anyone on the show and you never see any of them drinking an ounce of alcohol — with the exception of the vineyard episode. And at the end, the family gathers around the dinner table and gives thanks to God for the food. I am not just talking about a Thanksgiving or Christmas episode, they are shown praying at the end of every episode.

To be honest, if you told me there was a current TV show about millionaire rednecks, I would just assume that the four-letter words would fly left and right just like the bottles of Budweiser. But you don’t see that. And most importantly, they set an example of praying and giving thanks for what they have.

In my opinion, one of the best ways for anyone to witness is taking time to give thanks before a meal.

I can remember as a youngster going to McDonald’s and seeing someone bow their head before they ate. At that time, as someone who routinely did not give thanks for my food, I felt very convicted and very ashamed of myself.

And I’m sure many of us have had that embarrassing moment where we are a guest at a family dinner and we start chowing down before someone has a chance to say a blessing.

I don’t believe we should pray like that just to be seen in public as someone who prays. But I think it is very important to just take a moment and thank God for what He has given us and for what He does for us on a daily basis.

I realize that we live in a very fast-paced world these days, and I also realize how juicy a double cheeseburger can appear on a dinner plate.

But we still need to always take time and show appreciation to our Lord before we dig in.

Hey! If a bunch of millionaire rednecks can take time for prayer regardless of their busy schedule of making duck calls and “redneck water parks,” then so can we, Jack!

Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at