“Disagreement is not the same thing as hate, don’t believe that lie.”
Chip and Joanna Gaines stand next to the updated fireplace in the Silva's living room. Fixer Upper, Season 2, Episode 12. HGTV
You may remember the controversy surrounding everyone’s favorite shiplappers—Chip and Joanna Gaines—late this past November. BuzzFeed wrote an article pointing out that the Gaines’, who have been outspoken about their conservative Christian faith and values, attend a church that adheres to the biblical principle that homosexuality is outside of God’s perfect plan for marriage and family. This revelation came as a surprise to some of the pair’s fans, and the Gaines’ were skewered and attacked by countless publications for their traditional beliefs.
Well, after months without commenting on the controversy, the loveable Chip has finally taken a stand on behalf of his family, and it’s awesome. We often think of Chip as the comic relief of this dynamic remodeling duo, but this letter to fans shows a side of him we don’t often see on camera. It takes a strong and courageous man to lead his family through such a vulnerable time. It’s nice to see this kind of leadership and protection from someone as high profile—and oftentimes goofy and hilarious—as Chip. This move is a testament to the working partnership that he and Joanna share in order to manage their family and their home, as well.
READ MORE: The faithful romance of Chip & Joanna Gaines
Even members of the LGBT community have criticized BuzzFeed’s attempt to slander the couple for no good reason, so Chip’s article nails it in so many ways. You can—and should!—read the post in its entirety here at the couple’s personal blog, but we couldn’t help pick out the six most eloquent and spot-on lines below:
1. “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 ok.”
We love Chip’s sentiments—just because our worldview or beliefs on a certain subject may not align perfectly to someone else’s doesn’t mean that there is any ill-will on our part, and Chip reminds us of this here. For most Christians, personally adhering to biblical beliefs has little to do with judging others—especially when it comes to those who do not have the same religious convictions. Chip’s words are an encouragement to those who hold fast to traditional beliefs reminding us not to allow these beliefs to become weapons, but encouraging us all to stand firm in our convictions while maintaining a spirit of cooperation.
2. Jo and I refuse to be baited into using our influence in a way that will further harm in an already hurting world, this is our home. A house divided cannot stand.”
Chip knows the scope of he and Joanna’s influence, and rather than become a symbol of division, he makes it clear that he and Joanna are decidedly not on a mission to hurt others. How refreshing to see a couple standing up for their beliefs, while at the same time making it clear that they have no intention of hurting, marginalizing or alienating others. The essence of Jesus’ life rings loud and clear in this quote—standing strong on a firm foundation of truth, while at the same time spreading a message that calls us all to love.
3. “I think we are all here for a reason. I think we all have a call on our lives. Your role is not my role, and thank goodness, because there is so much unique and important work to be done.”
We’re all created equally, but certainly not the same. This is always painfully clear to me as I witness the Gaines’ working their design magic on dilapidated homes, but the idea goes so much deeper. Each of us are called to certain vocations and purposes in this short lifetime, and this looks different in each of our lives. Chip and Joanna are uniquely gifted at renovating and redesigning spaces, while others may have an incredible way communicating with words, music, business or technology. The bottom line here: we all have something special to do for the kingdom of God, so lets not get distracted, and lets get to work.
4. “Listen to me, we do not all have to agree with each other. Disagreement is not the same thing as hate, don’t believe that lie.”
So often differing opinions are immediately labeled as “hate,” when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is indeed possible for Christians to believe in the traditional family wholeheartedly, without having any ounce of hate in their hearts for those who disagree. This is a poignant reminder to all of us as we navigate the sometimes choppy waters of dissension, disagreement, and dialogue in public spaces. The reiteration of varied opinions without any ill will is paramount to healthy discussion and to engaging the world in a meaningful way.
5. “If I misjudge people and am wrong, I want to be wrong having assumed the best about them. The bottom line is, I would rather be loving than be right.”
It’s human nature to make judgements based on what we see, hear, and feel. Some things are not always as clear-cut as they may seem, and while we may think we understand a situation, sometimes we’re mistaken. As Jesus walked this earth, we know He was unfaltering in his defense of truth, but he always spoke in love. Let us remember this as we move through life with those who may be different than us.
6. “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.”
Isn’t this just one of the most basic callings for every Christian? The world is not full of people who are all the same, and if we stay in our own little bubbles, only associating with those who are exactly like us, what will we have accomplished? We love that the Gaines’ mission isn’t to seclude themselves from anyone and everyone who holds a different worldview, but to partner with others, to love others, and to get to work serving and caring for anyone and everyone.
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