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'Fixer Upper' Stars Chip and Joanna Gaines Reveal How Commitment To 'Putting Christ First' Has Changed Their Lives

( [email protected] ) Nov 03, 2015 12:13 PM EST
Chip and Joanna Gaines, the couple behind the wildly popular HGTV show "Fixer Upper," have credited their success to their Christian faith and dedication to putting God first in all areas of their life.
Chip and Joanna Gaines are the stars of the hit HGTV show, "Fixer Upper." HGTV

Chip and Joanna Gaines, the couple behind the wildly popular HGTV show "Fixer Upper," have credited their success to their Christian faith and dedication to putting God first in all areas of their lives.

The couple, who first met at Baylor University and ran a home renovation and design company for many years before being approached by the cable network, opened up about their faith during a recent interview with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Chip revealed that he was raised in a Christian home, as his mother gave her life to Christ at a Billy Graham crusade in 1974. While in college, Chip was strongly influenced by another member of the Graham family - Danny Lotz, Billy Graham's late son-in-law and husband of Anne Graham-Lotz.

"He wasn't a pastor, but he was influential in showing me how to live out my faith, even in a secular environment," Chip said. "He impacted my life by spurring me to shape my choices with my faith and to walk in my faith regardless of my 'calling.'

"He challenged me to process what God was doing in my life and train my mind with God's truth. I learned so much from him, and he always spoke so highly of (Billy Graham), who he said talked the talk and walked the walk. So, to this day I think about talking the talk and walking the walk because of Billy Graham and Danny Lotz."

After the birth of their second child, Chip and Joanna felt that God was calling them to close their home furnishings store, Magnolia Market. Although devastated, Joanna recalled feeling a strong sense of peace about the decision: "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," she added.

However, God had greater plans for the couple: shortly after God called them to once again re-open their store, the Gaines were approached by HGTV, who had heard about the couples' home improvement skills, and the rest is history. 

"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.

Today, "Fixer Upper" has garnered more than 24 million viewers, making it one of the highest-rated shows of its kind. Chip and Joanna are sometimes shown praying on the show along with their four children.

"As for 'Fixer Upper', we have been surprised at the impact of our faith through the show," Chip explained. "We haven't been overtly evangelical, but the rich feedback we have received on family and love all source from our faith. Jesus said the world would know His disciples by their love for one another, and we've glimpsed this in practice and strive for it every day."

This is not the first time Chip and Joanna have spoken publicly about their faith. In April, Joanna a video for Baylor University in which she discussed her testimony and how she seeks to use her platform to share her faith.

"I can look back now on the pattern of my life and really believe God has a purpose for me, but He also has purpose for you," Joanna said.

She explained that sometimes, God's refining process is painful: "He know where to hit, he knows to hit below the belt."

Joanna encouraged viewers to seek God's wisdom in all areas of life, even if it may be difficult to trust him at the time.

"Whether you're staying home and raising beautiful babies or you're the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, let God speak into your life," she said. "Let his father heart come and say, 'This is what I have for you.' I think that's the key - not believing the lies, fixing our eyes on Jesus, and walking in the truth."