"Faith… Family… Ducks" That’s the motto of the hottest new reality show, "Duck Dynasty," It follows the daily activities of the Robertson clan, a tribe of rednecks from West Monroe, Louisiana, who turned homemade duck calls into a multimillion dollar business. It’s been called "a family sitcom with shotguns," and ended its current season with ratings higher than CBS’ "Survivors," and Fox’s "American Idol."
It’s popularity has left entertainment insiders baffled and fumbling for possible explanations. Some suggest the novelty of the family’s lifestyle, the setting in rural Louisiana and the outdoor "he-man" emphasis of a bearded family patriarch and his 4 bearded sons has been the formula for success. Others suggest it is the authenticity of the central characters and the dynamics between them that is serving up the magic. I have watched the show once and was very impressed, especially because I don’t necessarily watch reality TV.
I tend to agree with those who emphasize that the show is uplifting, appropriate for family viewing and full of family values like love and loyalty to each other. Each program leaves the viewer feeling good and ends with the family together at dinner, holding hands and saying grace. It’s a picture of a group of people devoted to one another, their family business and their shared faith in God.
There just may be something about a family lifestyle that’s solid, dependable, supportive and committed, that is highly appealing. I am reminded that another family focused reality show that my wife Sue follows, "19 Kids and Counting," is starting its 11th season. It demonstrates that shows about loving, functional families are not only popular, but have staying power in an industry where most shows don’t last more than 2 or 3 seasons.
I think these families model something that as humans we all value and desire: to belong, that is to be loved and accepted for who we are, and to be significant, to have personal worth and be important to someone else. I think that Father God created us with these very legitimate desires and designed the family as the primary method for fulfilling them. The family is His idea, and He intended that we would find our acceptance and worth within a loving family context.
After the creation of Adam and Eve, Father God’s first words involve the creation of family. He blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. For this reason a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two of them are united into one flesh." (Genesis 1:28a; 2:24) Family is designed by God to be our foundation, both as individuals and as a society.
In our present-day era of fragmented families, single parent families and 50% divorce rate, many of us are struggling to find that elusive sense of belonging and self-worth. For the first time ever, there are more single adults than married adults in our population. Especially among the young, the so-called millennial generation, there is great skepticism about the desirability of marriage. It would appear that the myth of "happily ever after" has been completely dispelled.
But Father God intended that we would find deep satisfaction, fulfillment and even joy in marriage and family. He did more than that; He told us how to obtain it.
Come join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM. We are continuing our "Family Mountain Series." I will be speaking on "How to Have a Great Marriage."