In “Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl,” Jase Robertson lays it all out there. The 44-year-old “Duck Dynasty” star writes about his commitment to Christ, his courtship of wife Missy and the struggles they have gone through dealing with their daughter Mia’s cleft palate. The genial Robertson clan member spoke to FOX411 about his memoir.
FOX411:You’re really honest in this book.
Robertson: I decided if I was going to write it, I just was going to pour my heart and soul out about the issues in my life. I thought, ‘I’m laying it all out here, there’s no skeletons in the closet.’
FOX411: Your Dad baptized you in a lake.
Robertson: He did when I was 14 and think that was cool because I’m an outdoor guy. My Dad was not a pleasant person when I was a small kid but I’d seen his life transformation. Here we are a few years later and we’re wading out in the river in my front yard and my Dad who has totally changed his life is baptizing me in the river. It was just a cool moment for us to share. I was ultimately putting my faith in Jesus Christ but just having that moment with my Dad was awesome.
FOX411: And you wrote that you forgave your Dad.
Robertson: I did. It kind of just hit me while I making my pledge to Christ. I thought, ‘You know what? I’m appealing for forgiveness in my own life but that means I’m going to have to be a forgiver.’ It was kind of a lightbulb moment and I told him, ‘You know what? I was a a little bitter about some of the things that happened. I’m forgiving you,’ and we just had a moment there. I really did. I’ve never thought about it again. I realize that people make mistakes. I’ve made my share of them. Forgiveness is contagious especially when it comes to Christ. That’s just what I decided to do.
FOX411: You say sitting in church doesn’t make you a Christian.
Robertson: Some of my family members argue with me sometimes (about this). I’m just kind of an anti-establishment type guy. There’ a lot of things about organized religion that are not pleasant. People are right about that. If you’re judgmental or mean spirited or hypocritical that’s just not good. I’m thankful that I didn’t come from an enviroment where I feel like I’m religious just because I was raised that way. it was more that I found a relationship with God and now the benefits I get from meeting other people who share a love for Christ are great.
FOX411: You were never interested in alcohol or drugs.
Robertson: I’ve never been high or drunk in my life. As much as I would like to say it was a spiritual decision, it was really a decision I made from monitoring my Dad when he rented the bar and the things that happened and it made me uncomfortable and I thought, ‘Whatever they’re doing, I’m just not going to do that.’ I made a decision to wait before I drank any alcohol till I was around 30 because I just thought, ‘I want to be mature enough to exert self-control.’ Now I’ll have an occasional drink. It’s not something that I’m into and I just don’t have a problem.
FOX411: You were a virgin when you got married.
Robertson: Yeah I’m proud of that. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my entire life (laughs). What I did was when I started dating girls I would quickly tell them on the first date as soon as they got in the car. I’d say, ‘Look I will not treat you inappropriately at any point in our relationship.’ I had a couple get out of the vehicle!
FOX411: It probably made you more desirable.
Robertson: I think in a way it kind of did. They viewed it as a sign of strength. My wife in particular, she really loved the idea that she felt secure with me, like I had a direction I was taking. I didn’t sugarcoat anything. I said, ‘I’m a hunter, I’m a fisherman, I’m gone weeks at a time. I’m just laying this out. But I will take care of you and I will treat you with respect and I want to wait till I get married,’ and I would share my faith with them. Missy was the first girl that loved that. She was like, ‘Ok this is awesome.’
FOX411: Missy came from a more privileged background and she got grief for dating you.
Robertson: In the book I don’t think it accurately depicts the amount of persecution she suffered over dating me. They were on her. Even in front of me they would make jokes. I think she saw that I didn’t care what people thought about me. I was surprised that it didn’t bother her because they really heaped a lot of abuse on her.
FOX411: You had a bumpy first year of marriage because you were doing so much ministering.
Robertson: Yeah we did. I think it’s shocking in the book because we were really doing a lot of unselfish things. I’m not ashamed of my faith, I love the Lord. I want to help people. With my friends what happened was they saw my life and they started one by one coming back to me wanting to hear more about what I was into.
FOX411: And you neglected your own life.
Robertson: I was and it wasn’t like Missy didn’t support what I was doing. She was having Bible studies too. We just weren’t doing it together. We looked up after a couple of months and realized we weren’t seeing each other. I would come in sometimes in the wee house of the morning and she was just getting up to leave. It was stressful so we kind of stopped and said, ‘Whatever we do we’re going to do it together.’ It was really a great life-changing moment. It was a bumpy time. We were starting to get grumpy. It was a hard transition.
FOX411: The biggest thing you’ve probably had to deal with is your daughter Mia’s disability.
Robertson: She was born with a cleft lip and palate. She wasn’t born with a palate so when they try to create one they do a great job but then as she grows they have to go there and do procedures. She’s never really fixed, she’s just managed. It s a difficult process, it really is. There’s a lot of suffering, lot of head gear she has to wear, so we really never get too up or down.
We were miserable for the first few months but ultimately we realized life sometimes is not fair as we see it but in the grand scheme of things it gives you an opportunity to help other people. We have a lot of families we’ve met in the cranial facial world that we’ve been able to say, ‘Look it’s ok, it’s going to be hard but you can make it.’ In the end we have our faith in Christ and we believe one day we will all be imperishable. So we get over the struggles of living on a planet where we’re perishable and we suffer and experience pain.