For the past three years “Fixer Upper” has been a staple home improvement show on HGTV. In January an episode of the show shattered ratings records for the network and “was one of the top 15 telecasts in HGTV history.” The success of the show, however, has not stopped hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines from living out their Christian faith and publicly professing “I Am Second” in a new video released earlier this week.
Founded in 2008, “I Am Second” is a multimedia organization that seeks to shed light on people of different backgrounds who profess a belief in Jesus Christ and the videos they produce are “designed to help people discover their purpose in life.” Over the years “I Am Second” has featured a variety of well-known celebrities such as Stephen Baldwin, Phil Robertson and Tony Dungy. The goal of each video is to feature inspiring stories of conversion and everyday living that impact lives in a positive way.
The video featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines is primarily focused on the relationship of the couple and how that relationship has impacted their faith in God. Prior to the launch of the short film, editor John Seidl explained what to expect in the video, “Chip and Joanna are exactly who you think they are. They are genuine people… you are going to see how and why their marriage has thrived and how they have come to have a connection that is respectful, fun and yet celebrates their differences and how they honor God through that.”
In the video Joanna explains how “My walk with God when I was little and all the way up until my 20s was always ‘play by the rules, you’ll be blessed’…But then I met Chip and I feel like now it’s when you take a step out in faith, when it makes absolutely no sense, I think that’s where the greater reward is. There’s no telling where that will take you.”
Chip and Joanna also released this week their first book, entitled “The Magnolia Story.” The book is a “detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.”
The couple has been surprised at the success they have been blessed with and their road to fame has certainly had it challenges. Their little shop in Texas started out with only eight customers a day and since the show became a hit their store has attracted thousands of people who travel from all parts of the country.
Their show, besides being one of HGTV’s most popular shows, has had a profound impact on many lives, something Chip and Joanna never expected. They said in an interview with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, “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. As for ‘Fixer Upper,’ we have been surprised at the impact of our faith through the show.
“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.”
In the end, Chip and Joanna simply live out their Christian faith on TV through their joyful witness. They have realized over the years that true happiness does not come with fame or fortune, but by putting yourself “second,” and God “first.”
More to read: What’s the Charm behind HGTV’s Fixer Upper?