Chip and Joanna Gaines’ greatest accomplishment isn’t five seasons of the highest-rated HGTV show in network history, a New York Times bestselling book, a quarterly magazine, a paint, wallpaper, rug and furniture line, a bakery, and successful retail shops. Their highest accomplishment is modeling for the rest of us what really matters when their kids were feeling the pain of Mom and Dad being way too busy.
The kids would ask, “Mom and Dad, do you guys have to film again today? When is this going to be over?” Chip recalls.
“The kids were so young when we started,” added Joanna. “Fast-forward to today and our oldest is almost a teenager—they’re all growing up so quickly.”
So Chip and Joanna are teaching us important lessons about marriage and family as they walk away from their HGTV show for the sake of their family. We have so much to learn from the Gaineses — and not just about great design and shiplap.
Chip and Joanna Gaines’ 11 Secrets to a Great Marriage and Family
1. Trust God.
In every big life and career transition, Joanna says that she has made time to be in God’s Word.
“God taught me to study the Word and believe it, even when it hadn’t been fulfilled yet. I really had to cultivate a place of faith that I never had before. I had to trust Him as He would speak His promise to me,” she explained. “This trust brought peace, although my circumstance hadn’t yet reflected his promise. His Word doesn’t return void, and God was working in my heart to establish deeper levels of trust that I now look back on and am thankful for.”
Joanna shares in this video how God challenged her to trust Him with her dreams.
“Our family has made a commitment to put Christ first, a lifestyle our parents modeled for us very well. They showed us how to keep our marriage and family centered around God,” Chip said.
Chip and Joanna Gaines’ love story has won over the hearts of America. This Christ-centered couple is on fire for each other and even more on fire for God. They’re a much-needed light in a media world centered on sin and self.
In an interview with People magazine, the Gaineses opened up about the long road of hard work and faith that led them to where they are today.
“Nothing has come easy,” Chip says. “We’ve worked so hard to have this beautiful family and this farm—it really does seem like the American dream you heard about growing up.”
When Chip and Joanna decided to make this season their last, rumors swirled. But it was very simple; the Gaines’ family needed more time with Mom and Dad.
“I realized the show was demanding time from me, and I needed to be giving it to our businesses, to our relationship and my family,” Chip told People Magazine. “How far can you push it before something really does break down? And that’s kind of where we landed.”
Of course, one of those rumors was that Chip and Joanna were getting a divorce. But Chip shut that rumor down in his classic Chip Gaines style!
Using the hashtag #LoveOfMyLife, Chip made sure to set the record straight that divorce is not an option for these creatives.
“Won’t ever happen.. you can take that to the bank! #loveOfMyLife “
Through all of their endeavors, the couple’s top priorities are their marriage and then their kids: Drake, Ella, Duke and Emmie (and a fifth on the way!)
“Jo and I both made a commitment pretty early on that the two of us are the most important variable,” Chip explains. “If we can figure out how to be right as a couple, then obviously we a have a lot better opportunity to be right for our kids.”
In their inspirational I Am Second video, Chip and Joanna share how they’ve seen Jesus in one another and how that has challenged them to grow.
Joanna says, “I feel like God had a funny way of bringing me Chip to almost have this reality of what it’s like to follow Christ, which is a lot of the things that are gonna push you to a place of discomfort, and a lot of things are gonna push you to a place of freaking out.”
And what Chip has learned from Joanna? “I’ve learned about order, structure and processes through my wife, and God is all of those things to me now. But at the beginning, God was just chaotic to me. He was wild. He was untamed. He was unruly… And I liked that.”
Chip and Joanna have modeled well for their children that differences are okay — and to even celebrate those differences.
Chip says, “Jo and I sometimes don’t see eye to eye on stuff. She looks at something one way and in her gut she thinks she’s right and I look at it an entirely different way. I wish that she could get with the program and just see things the way that I do. (Of course, I’m kidding – we all know Jo’s usually right.) If Joanna and I, who are best friends, don’t see lots of things the same way – how on earth do we expect a world of strangers to magically align? The reality is, we may not all get on the same page and I think that’s okay.”
9. Love people.
When controversy swirled around the Gainses, it was Chip who spoke words of wisdom about what matters most is to love people.
“If there is any hope for all of us to move forward, to heal and to grow – we have got to learn to engage people who are different from us with dignity and with love. Joanna and I have personal convictions. One of them is this: we care about you for the simple fact that you are a person, our neighbor on planet earth. It’s not about what color your skin is, how much money you have in the bank, your political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or faith. That’s all fascinating, but it cannot add or take away from the reality that we’re already pulling for you. We are not about to get in the nasty business of throwing stones at each other, don’t ask us to ’cause we won’t play that way.”
Since social media can sometimes be toxic (and it’s sometimes toxic about Chip and Joanna), it’s nice to see a family that is showing their kids — and us — the way to communicate civilly.
Chip says, “Our family wants to fight for a world that knows how to lovingly disagree. We believe it starts when we operate from a position of love in all things. If your position only extends love to the people who agree with you, we want to respectfully challenge that position. We propose operating with a love so real and true that you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work alongside the very people that are most unlike you. Fear dissolves in close proximity. Our stereotypes and vain imaginations fall away when we labor side by side. This is how a house gets unified.”
The biggest, boldest lesson we’re learning from Chip and Joanna Gaines these days is…
“We would be foolish to think we can go and go and fire on all cylinders and never stop to pause. Our family is healthy and our marriage has honestly never been stronger. This has nothing to do with a fraudulent skincare line or anything else you’ll inevitably read. This is just us recognizing that we need to catch our breath for a moment. Our plan is to take this time to shore up and strengthen the spots that are weak, rest the places that are tired and give lots of love and attention to both our family and our businesses.”
So we’ve gotta ask: Chip and Joanna, are you ready to see your new life?
“We really want to focus on this break and take a step back to let this all soak in,” Joanna says. “Regardless of what the future holds, we are hopeful for what God has for us and our family in this next season.”