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How to Use the Enneagram to Have Healthy and Thriving Relationships


Beth & Jeff McCord

In our final episode for Season 3, Heart of Dating welcomes Beth and Jeff McCord this week on the show as they talk to Kait about the Enneagram!

Beth and Jeff McCord are the founders of Your Enneagram Coach, a community designed to explore a Christ-centered Enneagram. Through their teaching, they guide individuals, couples, and groups to self-awareness and life-enhancing growth. Beth and Jeff have a mission to help people see themselves with astonishing clarity, so that they can break free from self-condemnation, fear, and shame through the unconditional love, forgiveness, and freedom in Christ.

With their Becoming Us marriage book coming in the fall of 2019, their course curriculums, events, and retreats, the McCords combine their more than 20 years of marriage wisdom, pastoral experience, and Enneagram studies to provide a roadmap for couples to break free from unhealthy patterns, align their marriage with the Gospel, and grow into the couple God designed them to be.

So tell us about what you guys do!

  • Your Enneagram Coach is a community that was created as a way for others to better understand themselves and become more aware of their tendencies but as well as their relationship with Christ. 
  • The enneagram is so exposing at times that sometimes it creates a place of shame. So Your Enneagram Coach was created to rid of that shame and helps others draw close to Christ by using the enneagram personality test as a tool. ]]
  • The resourced created were not only developed for marriages, but all types of relationships!

Could you talk about understanding your enneagram number and discuss being aligned with the gospel vs. NOT being aligned with the gospel in regards to communication and relationships?

  • Jeff says that first thing is first, “We will find our healthiest self when we are in relationship with Jesus”.
  • Find out what enneagram number you are to better understand how you interact with other types.
  • The dance, which is two enneagrams working together, is something that can be figured out when you figure out your core motivation and intention with that relationship.
  • When we are misaligned, it’s like we have forgotten who we are in Christ and we try to control things in our own strength.
  • When we are aligned, we know our identity in Christ and put our trust in Him.
  • Go to and Beth and Jeff have a free PDF to assess each type.
  • Romans 5:8, Christ already knew we are sinners, so give yourself grace when you realize you’ve messed up and just pursue 

Could you break down some communication styles for aligned and unaligned enneagram number types?

  • Type 1: Moral Perfectionists. When they are misaligned, they tend to be judgemental. When they are aligned they are serene.
  • Type 2: Supportive Advisors: When they are unaligned they can become passive aggressive and give unsolicited advice. When they are aligned with Christ, they are incredible listeners and give helpful advice.
  • Type 3: Successful Achievers: Fear being unsuccessful. When they are misaligned, they try to be self-promoting and try to earn love through accomplishment. When they are aligned they are incredible supporters and encouragers. 
  • Type 4: Romantic Individualists: Strive to be their most authentic self. When they are misaligned, they become emotionally intense or either withdrawn. When they are aligned they are great listeners, empathetic, and will go the distance for others. 
  • Type 5: Investigative Thinkers: They tend to detach and withdraw when they are misaligned. When they are aligned, they connect with people in a deeper manner because they know they will be replenished by Christ.
  • Type 6: Loyal Guardians: Struggle with fearing not having support and guidance. When they are misaligned they are skeptical and reacting. When they are aligned, they are very engaging and high connective people.
  • Type 7: Entertaining Optimists: Long to be fulfilled and content. When they are unaligned, they won’t go deep and keep the attention on themselves. When they are aligned, they are lighthearted, optimistic, and great listeners. 
  • Type 8: Protective Challengers: Fear being betrayed. When they are unaligned, they come across as blunt and insensitive. However, when they put their trust in God and are aligned, they are protective of the weak, honest, and confident.
  • Type 9: Peaceful Mediator: Long for stability, peace, and harmony. When they are unaligned, they avoid conflict, are detached, and passive aggressive. When they are aligned, they are more assertive, kind, and engaging.

Do you find that some enneagram types are more compatible with others?

  • Jeff says that this is a popular question, but that it isn't necessarily about a specific person being the “right” person. The best person to be with is someone who is at their healthiest level.
  • If you or your partner is misaligned, there is going to be struggles.
  • “The right person is the person who understands their own heart, their own need for Christ, and extends that same type of compassion to you.” -Jeff
  • What you want to look for is humbleness, teachable, and someone who recognize that there’s so much to learn from Christ.
  • Research shows we are attracted to people that helps us become the best version of ourselves.

What are your thoughts on the same type dating the same type?

  • It’s not a negative thing, but become more aware of blindspots.
  • Two of the same types sometimes bring a larger blindspot that we need to be more aware of. 
  • Just be aware of what you could be missing.
  • Keep in mind you can have two of the same type, but they can be radically unique versions of the type.

Any thoughts for some of the common pitfalls?

  • Biggest concern is using the enneagram correctly. Many are using it incorrectly.
  • Don't use the enneagram as a sword and don’t just it is a shield.
  • Be gentle with one another in kindness. Don’t shame others.
  • Don’t use your enneagram number as an excuse. Instead use it to become better aware of your tendencies and grow in them.
  • Become self-aware and when looking for someone, make sure they are also committed to being self-aware.
  • We approach self-awareness according to our type. We each have our own blindspots.

What is your final nugget of dating advice?

  • Beth: Take the time to get to know yourself first! Learn what enneagram number you are and learn about your personality type as much as possible! 
  • A tool to learn more about yourself is go to and watch the Discovering You course.
  • Jeff shares Jerry Bridges quote, “You’re never so good that you’re beyond the needs of God’s grace and you're never so bad that your beyond its reach.''
  • Jeff also talks about the importance of saying “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” to humble yourself in a relationship

Other Resources:

Other Resources:

Follow Beth and Jeff on Instagram HERE

See their website HERE

Get their Discovering You Course Here HERE

Get their Exploring You Course HERE

Preorder their Becoming Us Book HERE

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