On secular leadership…

How do I know or find a good leader?

Good leaders are hard to find! They are also hard to gather into a team and they are also hard to keep cos they are always thinking what to do next and where to go next and where to make the next big impact. They don’t have time to listen to everybody and every opinion.

Non-leaders are everywhere; they are all over the place making noise! You can always find those and even if they don’t understand your dream/vision, they will keep making noise about it as if they know.

Don’t worry, in your personal space, you have a lot of non-leaders as friends…especially those friends who will never stay put but want to hang around you always…who can never spend time with themselves with the excuse of always being lonely or feeling bored…those friends who can never tell you to your face that even though we love you, we will criticize you when you are clearly in the wrong. Those are just some of the traits.

Never make them leaders of that company you want to build because what will make that company stand is not people with unwavering or religious allegiance to your “personality” but people who can be very objective and sincere to you no matter the odds. You don’t need people who will sing your praises every time…that’s very dangerous.

Of most priority to me, and what I have realized in recent days is to never make a person (be it friend or family) who cannot draw the line between Christian Leadership and Secular Leadership as a leader of the company I want to build. Such people always muddy the waters every morning, noon and night with religion…what doesn’t concern religion too will be “married” with religion. Even in the business world, anybody whose views differ from their entrenched religiosity will be tagged “son of the devil”. That’s just the reality in our part of the world that stifles development.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

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Love your spouse less

Today I read something very intriguing titled “LOVE YOUR SPOUSE LESS” from a marriage devotional:

“…In Matthew 10, Jesus gave a job description to His disciples, which included a warning that following Him would lead fathers to divide from sons and mothers from daughters—it would even lead to enemies in one’s own household. Not the family-friendly message we often associate with Christianity!

Jesus was clear that the disciples’ families could not take priority over the mission He was giving them. On another occasion (recorded in Luke 14), Jesus turned to the large crowds following Him and told them that any man who refuses to hate his wife for the sake of following Him can’t really be a disciple. Yikes!

“Hate your own wife” is probably not the advice you were expecting to receive from a study on marriage. But that’s how Jesus instructs the husbands who were interested in following Him.

Honestly, it’s a message we don’t like to hear. But Jesus was clear: You can’t follow Him if you’re clinging too closely to your family. No relationship takes priority over your relationship with Jesus. If you want to follow Jesus, you can’t even cling to your own life.

Count the cost. That’s how Jesus ended this dialogue in Luke 14. Clinging to Jesus requires loosening your grip—perhaps letting go completely—on every other thing in your life.

Are you sure you want to follow Jesus?”

Realities of life

When I was very young, I had a favorite “motivational” song. I could sing it all day. I didn’t know who owned the song but it has stayed with me ever since.

It was the best perspective I had on the realities of life even before I began experiencing much of it as an adult myself.

The lyrics of the song goes like:

“WHEN I WAS POOR, NOBODY CARED FOR ME. WHEN I WAS NOTHING, NO ONE KNEW MY WAY. THEY SAID I WAS UGLY, TOO UGLY TO BE LOVED. THEY SAID I WAS TOO POOR, TOO POOR TO BE A FRIEND. BUT NOW THAT I’M RICH, EVERYBODY WANTS ME. NOW THAT I’M RICH, ALL THE GIRLS COME TO ME. IT’S SO EASY TO SEE, IT’S MY MONEY THEY LOVE. IT’S MY MONEY THEY WANT. LOOKING FOR A FRIEND AND A LOVER FOR LIFE, LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO WILL LOVE ME FOR REAL; IN THIS CRAZY WORLD, NOBODY CARES FOR ME”

We all have moments like that when we come to people and they just don’t want anything to do with us. They mock us, treat us like dirt or nonentities just because of our present circumstances. They feel “better” than us so they don’t want to be seen with us.

But we know, one day God will bless our hustle and we too will become somebody they will wish they had never pushed away. Thankfully, only God knows a man’s future from his today and only God decides who wins or loses in the end, not our fellow human beings.

The beautiful thing about circumstances is that they do change!

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

MAKE THE DEVIL TAKE HIS BAGS

When you get out of a bad relationship because it was bad but you are still resentful, and angry….you let the devil leave his bags!!

When you say “I forgive you” but you can’t seem to let it go and have peace with that person…you let the devil leave his bags!!

When you break off your relationship with that hurtful and abusive person but you are still suspicious and distrusting of every new person you meet…you let the devil leave his bags!!

When you decide to let go of the past hurts from growing up in an unstable family environment, yet you still believe you are unworthy of love from others and so refuse to get attached to anyone…you let the devil leave his bags!!

So the next time you put the devil out, MAKE SURE HE TAKES HIS BAGS TOO!!!!!

Chasing girls…

Chasing a lady is a very a nice feeling…until she gets pregnant for you when you both are not ready! Then all your youthful adrenalin will be channeled into weightier matters by force; matters like facing yourselves, facing your families, facing the church, facing societal judgments, facing the economy (especially if you’re not financially sound).

Everything changes from then on. I bet the same sweetness “down south” you were chasing and couldn’t resist before she got pregnant, if now they open it for you freely to “have your way”, you won’t even have the energy or mental fortitude to perform as the “Pro” that you are known to be.

Good news is, you sure may survive all that comes with it in the end, but because you have not planned for it, it surely will drain you too. A pregnancy scare or surprise outside of marriage can surely drain life itself out of just anybody…it can be a very tough emotional feeling.

Growing up as a boy, a seemingly funny story was used to “educate” some of us on the subject of chasing girls. The story is told of a young girl who got pregnant and didn’t know the boy who was responsible. There were a lot of guys that apparently “serviced” her. Her very strict father matched her from guy to guy with a spoon in hand. Any of the guys who denied being the one responsible for her pregnancy was given the spoon to fetch out their portion of the semen they deposited in her. If you can’t, you know what awaits you. 😊

I guess it’s always fun…until somebody get hurt, huh?

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

The Christian Marriage Vow

On being for or against the Christian vow:

I’ve said it many times just like we’ve been taught many times…that ideally, Christian marriages are supposed to be the best model of marriage out there.

But then again, the thing with Christian marriages is the temptation to take each other for granted because of the vow we make to God to never leave. At the back of our minds, we know that as long as the issue does not have to do with infidelity, we are not allowed to leave the marriage. So, we take advantage of that and stop being very loving and caring in so many ways…in so many little things that rather end up meaning so much that they can shake the very foundation of the union.

We endure so much abuses and neglect in our Christian marriages because we just can’t stand up and leave. The vow has bound us to all the silly, stupid, irresponsible actions and attitudes of our partners…and wickedly, many people before marriage hide that hellish aspect of their miserable lives until after the vow, then they set sail and begin showing their horrible character. We end up therefore on the most part just enduring our marriages instead of enjoying it.

On the one hand, the vow keeps things sane because without it, everybody will just walk out at the slightest wrong, discomfort or unmet needs; leaving the family unit irreparably broken. On the other hand, it’s just a mess…enduring all the unthinkable until God Himself comes back to save your sorry ass.

Possibly, this situation stems from a wrong understanding of the vow, but sadly, that’s the practice of the vow in most Christian marriages. If only they would but tell you the glamour you see on the outside (even in Church) is only a cover up for a slowly decaying marriage, will you even believe it?

(PS: if you want to exercise the slightest thought of me being against Christian marriages, stop right there and go back to sleep 😜).

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Dear God…

Dear God,
Today you blessed me with just little when I was expecting much.
And because I had hoped and trusted You for a fat blessing,
I complained more than I should have thanked you.
I complained because I compared my blessings with that of others.
And I couldn’t understand why you blessed them more than I.
And I couldn’t stop asking the usual “why, why” questions,
And making little jokes out of the situation just to make me feel good.
Now I realized I have behaved childishly.
So teach me as I onward bound…
To accept even the least of your blessings with the greatest of gratitude!!
Sorry Lord…and thank you!
For always being THE BEST!!!

Withholding sex as punishment

Here’s what someone said to a friend who was denying her partner sex or withholding sex as punishment for some frivolous reasons:

“Better go sleep with your husband before someone else ends up sleeping with him! Unless you don’t want the marriage anymore, then it doesn’t matter; but if you do, babe run fast and go sleep with him like your life depends on it!”

The recipient of the message was so unhappy that the friend didn’t think about her feelings, or what her husband might have done but only to scare her and make it look like it’s her fault or sex just can’t be used as a reward for doing good.

But truth is, the friend had faced that sad experience before and was just saying the hard truth: withholding sex to get the good out of a spouse does not always work and can blow up in your face. Sex can be used as a reward for doing good but it also shouldn’t! Sex in marriage isn’t supposed to be optional. Neither is it supposed to be used as punishment.

Like it or not, the reality is that someone somewhere is always desiring your spouse and nursing the thought of sleeping with your spouse, and when you give them the chance out of negligence, they will. Oh yes, they will! And it will happen so fast before you realize it. When you play the loose with your spouse and they run dry on emotional satisfaction, you are only just slowly pushing them into the arms or bed of another.

Emotional detachment is something you must prevent in your marriage at all cost because you run the risk of losing your spouse once that connection fizzles out. And for many out there, it doesn’t matter to them whether it’s for a short spell, a day or two; if they get your spouse, they will seduce them with torrents of all that you are not giving them just to snatch them from you.

Sometimes, withholding from someone what’s fundamental to his/her survival can blow up in your face because they will always get it one way or the other. If respect is fundamental to a man and you withhold it, he will automatically seek it from or be easily drawn to another who offers it.

People are naturally attracted to and crave what they like and not what they dislike. Human beings love sex and crave it…and till eternity, people will always be tempted by it. That’s just the truth. This is something their life depends on and it makes them vulnerable to the extent that they could potentially go against their will to have it elsewhere when you refuse to offer it. They are not addicted to sex; it’s just a basic need for their well-being and survival. You say sex is not for survival? A billion marriages die from the lack of it, hello?

So, what’s the point? It’s simple: punish with anything but not with sex. Punish with anything but not that which is fundamental to a spouse’s survival.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018