'Fixer Upper' Stars Chip and Joanna Gaines Share Secret to Happy, Successful Marriage

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For "Fixer Upper" stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, the secret to happy, successful marriage is simple: encourage one another, and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Chip and Joanna Gaines star in HGTV's "Fixer Upper." For the Christian couple, the secret to happy, successful marriage is simple: encourage one another, and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

People Magazine

For "Fixer Upper" stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, the secret to happy, successful marriage is simple: encourage one another, and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

"Jo and I really have created boundaries to some extent for one another and it just helps us both flourish," Chip told People Magazine. "I am her biggest cheerleader when it comes to the things that she's rocking and rolling in and vice versa in my category. Just encourage one another's strengths and not be so particular that you constantly butt heads over it."

He added, "And a sense of humor is a big deal for us. We got lucky in that."

In addition to parenting four children, Chip and Joanna spend the majority of the time working alongside each other, whether it's flipping houses, designing a bakery, or writing a book.

"Just really weigh on each other's strengths and try not to cross over into each other's lanes," Chip said of working together. "That was one thing that I learned pretty early on is that ... I am a big creative by nature so I was always stepping in her universe and I was always thankful she wasn't micromanaging my side of the business so it worked, but I would come in and have these bold opinions about everything ... And then after about a year of sort of wrestling with each other like that, I realized A: I wasn't as good at it as I thought I was, so that was a problem, and then B: Why not let her really go for it in her way?"

Jo encouraged other couples to remember that if working alongside a spouse isn't a natural fit for them, have a third party come in and help, and show each other grace.

"Get a mediator, get a designer ... If you can't figure it out bring in someone that will help so you don't end up ending your marriage," said Jo, who later added, "And allow yourself room to make mistakes. We always allow on every budget, we have a side, 10 percent contingency as I may pick the wrong pink color. Just always have it so it's not the end of the world and you're not so stressed out."

In October, the HGTV stars released their first book, titled "The Magnolia Story."  Written with New York Times bestselling collaborator Mark Dagostino, the book details how their strong marriage, faith, and family carried them through the ups and downs of life.

"Our family has made a commitment to put Christ first, a lifestyle our parents modeled for us very well," Chip said during an interview with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. "They showed us how to keep our marriage and family centered around God."

Chip and Jo also shared their testimony in a powerful "I Am Second" video, in which they detailed how their relationship as a couple intersects with their spiritual journeys and Christian faith.

Said Joanna: "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 things are going to push you to a place of discomfort; a lot of things are going to push you to place of freaking out.... I don't want to be in a box anymore, I don't want to play it safe...because where the impact is, is over here on the other side."

In turn, Chip said Joanna's calm, steady personality and unfaltering faith allowed him to become the person God created him to be: "I think that's one of the reasons I love her like I do," he said. "She knows me in a way that has caused me to stop acting, I feel like I've really been an actor, a character my whole life. I always tried to prove something to someone. When I caught her...for the first time in my life, I felt like I could be exactly who I was. I've learned so much about order and 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 like that."

Tags : Fixer Upper, HGTV, marriage, Testimony, Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines, Chip and Joanna, Magnolia Story, Magnolia blog