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At the end of last year, HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines faced an attack for their church's anti-gay marriage stance.

While the media extensively covered the fiasco, Joanna remained silent on the subject. Chip refrained from making any official statements as well, but did make a few comments on social media...

To begin the new year, Chip has now shared his thoughts on the couple's Magnolia Market website about 2016 and how his family will move forward in 2017.

He writes:

“This past year has been tough. In my lifetime, I can’t recall humanity being more divided. Plenty of folks are sad and scared and angry and there are sound bites being fed to us that seem fueled by judgement, fear and even hatred. Jo and I refuse to be baited into using our influence in a way that will further harm an already hurting world, this is our home. A house divided cannot stand.”

Chip acknowledges that he and Joanna do have personal convictions. While he doesn't elaborate on the hot-button issue of sexuality, he points to one that they believe should be a unifying factor between all people in life:

“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.”

Chip and Joanna want to “change the conversation in 2017.” Instead of attacking people for their differences, the couple says we should focus on building “bridges” to them with “healing and compassion and kindness and restoration.”

The father of four also points out a simple fact of life that many often forget in heated situations:

“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.”

Chip ends withs with powerful words saying, “Our family wants to fight for a world that knows how to lovingly disagree... 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.”

Well said.

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