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Marriage 'A big deal to God'

Canton couple gives 10 components of a strong marriage

 

Gerald Harris/Index

Bryan and Kari Robertson met on a blind date, but have been married 14 years and are committed to modeling and encouraging strong marriage.

CANTON — The ship of matrimony is sailing on troubled seas. Celebrity marriages are known for catastrophic endings. Outrageous Chicago Bulls basketball star Dennis Rodman married then 26-year-old “Baywatch” beauty Carmen Electra on Nov. 15, 1998. Their marriage ended just nine days after they exchanged vows.

Brittany Spears and her childhood friend, Jason Allen Alexander, both 22 years old at the time, tied the knot at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas at 5 a.m. on Jan. 3, 2004.

The union lasted 55 hours.

Kim Kardashian, model and reality television personality, and Kris Humphries, who plays basketball for the New Jersey Nets, had what appeared to be a “fairytale” marriage, but it lasted only 72 days due to “irreconcilable differences.”

According to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, MO, 50 percent of first marriages, 67 percent of second and 74 percent of third marriages end in divorce.

In Psalm 128 we find a blessing on the family and a blessing upon the nation, because as the family goes so goes the nation. The blessing of a nation starts with faithfulness and godliness in the hearts of the husband and wife. When married couples marked by the above qualities become parents, their strength flows to the children through the contentment and peace it produces in the family. From solid families, strength flows to the nation.

Bryan and Kari Robertson are passionate about wedded couples upholding the principles of healthy biblical marriages and families building Christ-honoring homes.

Bryan grew up in a Christian home in Yocona, MS, and trusted Christ at age 15. He played football, baseball and basketball at Lafayette High School in Oxford before going to Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, where he also played baseball. He completed his college education at Mississippi State University with a major in mathematics education.

After teaching math and coaching baseball and football in high school for several years, Bryan began to sense God’s call into full-time ministry and continued his formal education at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN.

Bryan and Kari Robertson are passionate about wedded couples upholding the principles of healthy biblical marriages and families building Christ-honoring homes.

While a student at Mid-America he agreed to going on a blind date with Kari Litton – a date arranged by his pastor uncle, Dan Robertson. At least it was a blind date for Kari, because she had never seen Bryan. It was not a blind date for Bryan, because he had seen Kari crowned Miss Mississippi in 1996, representing the Magnolia State in the Miss America Pageant.

Kari, who advanced to the top ten finalists in the Miss America Pageant, admitted that the blind date was a positive experience and admitted to a friend, “I have just met the man I am going to marry.”

The second date soon followed the first and Bryan proposed marriage to Kari just three months after their first date. Five months after the engagement, Bryan’s uncle, the orchestrator of that first date, united the happy couple in holy wedlock.

By the time of the wedding Bryan had completed his degree at Mid America and his service on staff at nearby Bellevue Baptist Church with Adrian Rogers; two weeks after the wedding Bryan and Kari moved to Jackson, MS, where he began as minister to students at Broadmoor Baptist Church.

Robertson Family/Special

Zan, Solomon and Leti Robertson are happy and sure in their home, because their parents believe that marriage and family is a “big deal.”

“It was a challenging way to begin a marriage – a new city, new apartment, new job, new church and a new wife,” Bryan admitted.

The move allowed Kari to transfer her college credits from Mississippi State University to Mississippi College, where she graduated with a major in English.

Today, Bryan is the minister of assimilation at First Baptist Woodstock, but the Robertsons’ passion for Christ-centered homes has led them to develop a conference and seminar ministry to enrich marriages and families.

Bryan acknowledged that his parents have been married for 47 years, his dad’s parents were married for 58 years before his grandmother went to heaven and his mom’s parents were married for 47 years before they went to heaven.

Kari’s parents have been married for 42 years; her paternal grandparents were married for 64 years and her maternal grandparents were married for 47 years.

Bryan and Kari have been married for 14 years and have three children – Zan, age 12, Solomon, age 10, and Leti, age 4. Kari homeschools her children and seeks to “train them up in the way they should go.”

Bryan exclaimed, “I am so grateful for a godly wife and for the heritage the Lord has put together for my children.”

Years ago the Lord led Kari to embrace the idea of welcoming foster children into their home. They have been foster parents to six different children and rejoice that God has allowed them to adopt Leti, one of the six children they received into foster care.

Kari stated, “We got Leti at 18 months. Her birth mother was from Mexico and died at age 37. We don’t know anything about Leti’s biological father, but we love her just like we love our own flesh and blood.

“We really want to promote foster parenting and adopting children. Christians can adopt children and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord or fail to seize that opportunity and let unbelievers adopt them and bring them up in a home where Christ is not known.”

Bryan testifies, “Marriage is a big deal to me and to God. My heart goes out to over 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce. Satan is having a heyday destroying marriages. Our desire is to edify marriages, to encourage husbands and wives to be committed to each other and stay strong. The best way to eliminate divorce is to exalt marriage.”

Robertson Family/Special

From left to right Bryan, Leti, Soloman, Kari and Zan Robertson smile on the day Leti was officially recognized as part of the family.

In their seminars the Robertson emphasize ten principles, including “The Triangle Effect,” “Please Speak My Language,” “Make Them Feel Special,” “The Most Unused Word in Marriage,” and “You Want Me To Do What With 
My Money?”

Bryan testifies, “We urge couples to grow spiritually, spend time together, communicate everything (listen more, don’t assume anything, ask for clarity), know each other’s love language, make special occasions really special and be open, honest, trustworthy and forgiving.”

Andy Pipkin, who provides leadership to the men’s ministry at First Baptist Church in McDonough, commented, “We had the Robertsons in our church for a seminar. They spoke on ‘The Top Ten Components of a Strong Marriage.’ They spoke enthusiastically and had a lot of humor in their presentation. They certainly did not disappoint.”

Oxford, MS pastor Jerry East had the Robertsons in his church and remarked, “Bryan and Kari did a great job in our church. They held a marriage seminar during the Sunday School hour and their tag team approach to teaching was fascinating. Kari sang in our morning worship service to the delight of all and Bryan preached a divinely inspired message on the family. Sunday after lunch they led a parenting seminar for parents and teenagers. It was exceptionally good.”

For more information about the Robertsons’ ministry contact them at kari@familywalk.org.