Relationships and the crazy things we do for love

Today is the 3rd anniversary of the day I officially proposed marriage to my wife with a ring. I used the word officially because I have always known in my heart that I didn’t need to pose the question “will you marry me?” before I can be sure that she would or wouldn’t accept to marry me. 

The circumstances of our relationship made me feel popping the question was just the Western world or movies thing that has become many African lady’s fantasy and I felt I was not cut out for that. That’s because for us, we have throughout the relationship made each other know clearly that it is a relationship leading to marriage and not just a short-term romantic relationship or testing of the waters or the “you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your Prince” thing. She was my first love relationship and I didn’t plan on jumping into a series of relationships. 

That’s the level of commitment we started with from day one and because of that we had countless times discussed topics relating to marriage and her actions have always proved she can’t possibly say no to marriage if I should pop the question anyday. In fact, I was not even planning on doing that “will you marry me” proposal thing but something happened and I figured it seems almost every lady wants the proposal with rings to happen as a way of launching the marriage phase before actually starting preparations for marriage. 

But for a guy like me who always wants value for money, I didn’t see why I should spend money on a ring that she may not even wear in public because of our cultural, societal and religious perceptions. At the time, though just 3 years ago, there was no way she was going to wear that ring to church (we being choristers and all the “pious standards” that makes you feel having a boyfriend is even a sin? 😂) or in public without having to answer to so many people who would ask too many unwarranted questions. 

It’s not like these days that rings have become a fashion thing that we see ladies wearing rings on all five fingers and nobody cares. And truly I don’t really remember she wearing that ring freely in the open…coupled with that confusion out there over which finger wears such rings, whether the marriage ring finger or middle finger and all that? 😂 So many different views out there on that thing…smh. Those days the old men and old ladies of the church will never spare you with a ring on whichever finger when not married 😂. Plus the fact that even if she wears it even, it will be for barely some two or three months before marriage made little economic sense to me at the time. But I’ve never regretted it because it makes a lot of romantic or emotional sense to women and we get to benefit from satisfying that need anyways 😂. 

OK, so back to what I actually wanted to share? Today’s anniversary made me remember possibly the craziest thing I made my wife do. We had started marriage counselling then I guess, and on one evening outing, I forced her to wear some miniskirt I bought for her during my studies in UK. 

It was a crazy suggestion and the way she looked at me in bewilderment spoke volumes. She’s not a miniskirt person and had never worn any before…none that very short. If you’re a committed church person like her, you would know she’s the type that obeys the “skirt must not go above the knee” rule to the core.  

And here I was suggesting she wears one so short that it can practically reveal her bum. 😂 She blatantly refused and even after I kept convincing her by suggesting she “do something crazy for once in your life“, she went like “what if we meet our Pastor or someone from the church?” That phrase got me, and I couldn’t stop laughing and all the while thinking “like seriously? who cares?” 

As usual I think I gave her all the arguments of whether she thinks Pastors are saints, whether she knows what their wives wear for them at home, whether she thinks Pastor’s wives don’t wear g-strings, whether Pastors never feel sexy and act like really bad boys in bed with all the Playboy moves or she thinks they quote scriptures when coming to sleep with their wives. 

I’m sure all that line of argument for a simple question bored her into just giving in and wearing the damn thing 😂. And I secretly took my camera along cos there was no way I was going to let that rare moment pass. 

But I can tell you the walk to the neighborhood restaurant to just grab some khebab and drinks and enjoy outdoor fresh air was her longest walk ever and the most sluggish and uncomfortable walk of her life. Nothing is ever so priceless as that crazy miniskirt night 😂.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

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THE CHOSEN

From many I chose you

‘Cos you were the most favourable amongst them

Your lovely character seduced me

And played tricks on my emotions

A part of me gets excited at thy graceful sight

An excitement that heightens

With every lovely thought of you

You are so amazing a figure

A blessing amongst all the Lord’s carvings

So beautiful a living monument

So sweet a manifestation

Of God’s gift of love to me

My heart craves strongly for thy love

And breaks whenever thy love

So rich and true

Is far from reach

Inside my emotions are stacked up

Like full old wineskins ready to burst

I have been looking for so long

And I bless the day I found you

‘Cos you brought light to my spirit

Oh how the light of my soul shone the brightest

The day you accepted as true, promising and trustworthy

Those carefully chosen and well rehearsed sugar-coated words

In your eyes I find the radiance of true love

Your lips are so blessed with soothing words

That puts my agitated spirit to a sweet sound rest

That reassures my soul of a hope

And a future not too far away

A life together and forever

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

(PS: A poem to mark the celebration of our marriage proposal anniversary today)

Everybody is loveable 

God has made everybody loveable. You don’t have to agree with it; that’s just what I think. 

But if that is true, then no matter what, you should be able to find someone you can love and marry…unless you’re being too picky/choosy or keep having unnecessarily high expectations. Or maybe your problem is that you want somebody who’s exactly like yourself (which you can never find).

Problem of choice

Things will be too easy in marriage if you find somebody exactly like yourself. God made marriage a training ground so that two individuals (opposites) can learn to better themselves, sharpening each other just as iron sharpeneth iron (Proverbs 27:17).

If you’re really serious, you should find someone…unless you want to sit for God to just drop an “already made” person on your lap or in your bed so you can just get on with it 😂. You are waiting for “your match made in heaven“, the exact person whose rib you’ve been created from or who is the product of your rib?

You may wait for eternity…or maybe I should ask, how will you even know or recognize your missing rib? Be there and keep searching for your missing rib or waiting arms folded for your Prince Charming…literally. Me “sef” do I know if my adorable wife has my missing rib? 😂 I’m not interested in any missing rib thing even if there is a 1:1 male to female ratio in my country or even the world. I know physically and spiritually, I will weary myself trying to dissect all the women in the world just to know and be sure she’s made of my rib. Every woman is a potential “missing rib” so drop all those long wish lists and just take one 😝.

The thing I like about men is that they will easily admit that Charley, I know I’ve lost a lot of time on getting a partner and I seriously need a partner because I’m not happy being still single at this age. But for today’s independent women, no way…their rhetoric is that they are happy being single and independent. 

Well woman, keep telling yourself you are happy being single and you don’t need a man to make you happy or satisfy you because you can pleasure yourself down there. Of course nobody is dumb enough to expect you to cry in public for want of a man…but we know you “cry” when alone at night, bother God with a million prayer petitions and probably drink yourself to stupor over the thought of being single at 30, 40, 50??  What you should know about that false confidence is that you can’t tell everyone (the public) you don’t need a man and then have men come throwing themselves at you? You don’t need us, we not coming. 😂

Society is full of people and counting back to all the years since you started having feelings for the opposite sex, chances are that you have met a lot of people who could have been your “potential spouse”. You can’t say you can’t find a wife/husband. Where have you been looking all these years? Chances are you’ve been wasting too much time on people who don’t know what they want with you. 

I know you will say I don’t understand the journey you’ve traveled, so I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. Let me leave it here before I hurt you further 😊. Best of luck then. 

(PS: Don’t take this post too serious or as a judgemental piece. Nonetheless, we’ll love to hear your thoughts 😉).

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage killers

​”We put everything ahead of marriage and then wonder why it fails”

Whatever comes between you and your marriage is a marriage killer…be it positives like the Church, the kids, friends, family, and job; or negatives like addictions, bad habits, adultery, negative mentalities, etc. 

Whatever does not edify your marriage…watch it. Whoever is always willing to bring a charge against your marriage because he/she finds nothing good in your marriage should not be kept as company. Bad company corrupts good habits. 

In the course of a marriage, there is a lot of time to develop and to become divine lovers. That is where your marriage must get to. 

Work at it, pruning off all the negatives one step at a time. It’s possible to become divine lovers! We have the Grace; all we need to do is to put in the works. 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017 

MY WIFE, MY INSPIRATION

My wife said something yesterday:

“Your willingness to learn and unlearn things helps your marriage to work. The learning is easy; the hard work is in unlearning a habit or an attitude that you have grown up with”.

I said in my mind, wow how beautiful! You can’t surely coexist with someone by forcing on them your way of life, your upbringing. 

(PS: Still learning from my wife in marriage. She’s a storehouse of wisdom but she never talks on the “open market” 😜. If you want to know what she knows, you will always have to put her on the spot. Otherwise, you wait until I bring it to you. I’m the one that blogs the stuff and spreads it on social media. So I’m the one that gets called funny little annoying names too. But nothing spoil because sometimes I take the glory 😂🙈)

So much hurt; too afraid to hope again

​IT’S NOT LOVE…when it trifles with your soft heart and piece by piece tears it apart and having won dumps you in a grave of pain, scarring your life with grief and bequeathing to you debts of regret!

Many people today are afraid to hope because they have been hurt so much in life. 

They have had so many disappointments and so many relationship and marital breakups that they don’t think they can face the pain of another. They are left with emotional scars and baggage from past failed relationships or marriages that has wrecked their trust and skyrocketed their fears. 

They have lost all their beautiful smiles, joys, trust, confidence…and the Devil has taken advantage to set up in them negative thoughts, lifestyles and false realities.

LORD WE NEED YOU TO SHOW YOURSELF MIGHTY IN SUCH LIVES. RESTORE THEIR HOPE AND LET THEM KNOW YOU’RE ABLE TO TURN THINGS AROUND! 

Help them let go of the past and trust in Your promise of a better future. Help them realize that in Isaiah 43:19, You told Your people not to dwell on the past but to recognize that You’re doing something new. 

Constantly remind them of the truth found in Psalm 147:3, that you God heals the broken.

Just help them…someway, somehow! 

Life’s not a competition 

We are not in competition with anyone. 

The race of life is self run. God has a lane for everyone. Those who know their life purpose stay in their lane. 

Those who have grace don’t do things to prove a point to anybody. Any man or woman that lacks grace is impatient to succeed. 

When it’s your time, every door will open for you and nothing can stop your destiny

#LifeIsFreedom

I’ll Alter Him: Story of A Bride

A story is told of a young bride-to-be who was very nervous on the day before her wedding, so she spoke with her minister. “I’m afraid I might not make it through the ceremony properly,” she confessed.

The minister assured her that everything would be fine: “When you enter the church tomorrow and the processional begins, you will be walking down the same aisle you’ve walked many times before. Concentrate on that aisle. When you get halfway down the aisle, you’ll see the altar, where you and your family have worshiped for many years. Concentrate on that altar. Then, when you’re almost to the altar, you will see your groom, the one you love. Concentrate on him.”

The bride was relieved, and left to prepare for her big moment. The next day, she walked down the aisle with her chin up and eyes bright—a beautiful, confident bride. But those along the center were a bit surprised to hear her muttering over and over. 

What she muttered was “Aisle, altar, him. Aisle, altar, him.”

But they heard: “I’LL ALTER HIM!
MORAL OF STORY: People around you will always misunderstand or misrepresent you. You’re the best judge of thy own truth. 

TODAY’S CHURCHES

Today’s churches are not content with small membership that they can be sure are true practicing Christians. They are not interested in small branches either. Church growth targets are more about good financial standing than about depopulating hell and discipleship. High church attendance equals growth in offertory and that’s where the story ends.

Church growth targets are more tailored to either profit-making projects or merely having the biggest auditorium (membership), usually under the guise of the word of God reaching many. Need we talk about the expensive popularity-influenced programme advertisements, hyped conferences and expensive guest speakers and “ministers”? Oh, big edifices are good especially because it would attract rich and high class people to the Church. Don’t we know rich people are attracted to the appearance of church buildings and repelled by sloppy appearances and concerned about where their expensive cars get parked; and of course not in the parking lot of a Church with cheap edifice/architecture?

Stationary pastors who no longer go out to the field, the hinterlands to propagate the gospel but are content with once-a-year evangelism programmes that never get to rural areas. Going to and setting up churches in rural areas is not lucrative enough. Of course that would defeat the business model operation of the Church. Right? Pastors no longer honour invitations to rural Churches to go and preach because there’s no financial incentive.

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Sunday praise and worship sessions so short and so not as uplifting compared to the spirit-filled experience you have playing same songs or listening to them on radio in your closet. Choirs interested in setting aside other times aside normal Sunday services for high cost worship/praise programmes 12 times in a year to entertain themselves (very little outside folks or sinners attending), under the guise of it serving as a means of evangelism.

Funny church membership rules linked closely to financial obligations under the guise of the church burying members when they die, or attending/officiating their celebrations, etc. Membership never comes into question during the collection of the many offerings they have instituted like Sunday/Mid-week offertories, special offerings, tithes, appeal for funds, “covenant offerings”, “first fruit offerings”, thanksgiving offerings, “annual harvest contributions”, church building offerings, Pastor’s appreciation offerings, Pastor’s car offerings, pastor’s birthday offerings, “all night service offerings”, “deliverance service offerings”, etc but only when a “member” who has fulfilled all those responsibilities dies or falls into some category of need. Then the Church says “where is your membership card and record of contributions?” Then they say “yes, we agree he’s been attending this Church for so long but because he’s not a “card-bearing” member, we are not obligated to do one, two and three”.

When the Pastor is so rich with material things but the members lack both material and spiritual things then something must be wrong? When after all those contributions or offertories the monies end up in buying private planes and jets to fly high in luxury, buying and riding exotic cars and living in expensive mansions when members live in abject poverty, then something must be wrong? When the monies are even used to build universities that are then priced so high members children themselves cannot afford; when the Pastor now preaches more motivational messages than salvation messages and more about how to make it in this life than how to make it to Heaven, must we start getting worried??

Well I don’t know. But I guess I could be right to say that there is an increasing perception among Church members that the Church is increasingly becoming unconcerned about their lives in the public sphere and only interested in their monies. Whatever they go through to make ends meet is no business of the Church but what they must give to the Church is what’s important to the Church. After all, the Pastor will find a way to tell you God will always provide even when you give all your money to Him every month and go home empty. And you must give because all the money you have belongs to God.

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Some say Churches now only command compulsory financial obligations and not willful giving. Some say the church is now so interested in money and profits that it’s a shame they even request two offertories at church wedding ceremonies of their own “members” and later give them some very meager amount as the church’s own donation because they are not “welfare contributors”. As if that is not “shameful” enough, the new trend is Churches collecting two offertories at funerals! Two offertories: one for the Church, one for the bereaved family. So funeral grounds are also now money making grounds for the Church?

Some say they can bet their lives that there can never be a “no offertory Sunday” ever in their Church and wonder if money making and profiting is not increasingly being the focus of the church, then why can’t that happen.

Some bemoan the “psychological methods” used by Pastors or Churches in extorting from members instead of biblical willful giving and the imposition of levies on members like in secular associations/organizations.

Some say they understand the Church has fiscal responsibilities but there’s a difference between the Church having fiscal responsibilities and the Church operating a business model and thus if we try to operate the Church as a business, we will find ourselves at odds with God’s design.

Again some have observed that the new trend is to find Pastors now preaching that complaining about giving to God (they mean themselves or the church they mismanage) or not giving to God so much that you feel it cost you like David did is a sin/unfaithfulness.

What’s true however (and perhaps the Pastor cares less about) is that, when people feel like they are only being used for their finances, they will eventually leave the Church. Trust me; it will not be hard to find that most highly successful (rich) church members share the sentiment that the only value their Pastors seem to place on them is the fact that their tithe pumps so much money into the Church or their pockets. There’s a reason why most billionaires either don’t go to Church or choose to give their tithes to foundations or non-profit charities they have created and the reason is simply the financial mismanagement of the tithe/monies by the Church, and the lack of accountability thereof. They wonder why they give millions to the Church yet the “food they have put in God’s storehouse” never feeds the poor, needy and deprived in the same Church they give to. They wonder why the Church will rather focus on building big edifices and holding wasteful programmes with the money and not feed the poor and needy in the Church instead.

What’s the calling of the Church again? I keep forgetting because all I keep seeing is Churches running like corporate businesses.

Well, I guess the line between church and business is too thin that it gets so confusingly messy! Whatever the case is, watch out for manipulative Churches and Pastors and don’t let the Church decide your destiny. The Church cannot take you to Heaven; only Christ will.

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My simple rule is: Don’t do Church; Do Christ!

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

 

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In the search for true love…

“Believe it or not, one of men’s deepest dreams is to find true love. During that search for love we are often hurt or heartbroken — sometimes unintentionally. Women sometimes don’t know this, because we do a good job at hiding our pain”

~~Mariel Reimann

#Quotes

I pray God helps everyone find true love…the kind that brings eternal happiness to the heart and leaves the world a better place because it spreads love to other hearts.