Know your worth?

I met a sales guy the other day. He was coming from behind me and called out to me. When he got closer he said “Boss, I saw in a revelation that your girl was going to leave you for somebody else, probably me”. Apparently that was his way of striking a conversation. Wierd, right? Lol.

But I think my response struck him when I said “Wow, that’s cool bro. No problem at all”.
He was like “I thought you would have a problem with that and will you just let her go easy like that? Won’t you fight for her to prove you love her?”

I laughed and told him to forget that Hollywood stuff and that she can go all the way to Hell if she wants to.

He asked why and I said to him “Whoever does not value you enough to leave your life for another, you must let go and close the door. Life is simple and you will always find better”.

He nodded in agreement with a broad smile on his face and we got into other important sales matters.

(But why I’m I sharing this? Lol)

Let’s just say, it’s a fun post to usher in yet another new month of being alive…amidst all the COVID-19 ‘tribulations’. Dear July, be good to us and keep us safe! 🙏🏾

Witnessed a mix of good and bad fatherhood

Our fathers are great (not all though), but we do not want to be like them when we become fathers…we want to be better. Yes, better than they are or were! Come on fathers, a charge to keep we have…!

A charge to keep…🤔

My view of fatherhood has been a balanced one because of my personal experiences. Even though I focus most on the good, I appreciate the ‘bad’ as well.

Ultimately, dad has been a great dad, but he had his good times and bad times with parenting. I had a fairly balanced experience of fatherhood growing up. I grew up to witness at first hand, both the good and the bad. Dad had largely been a great dad; but at a point, he admittedly became a bad dad and neglected his responsibilities towards us. I wouldn’t say he is fully to blame for my parents’ divorce and our bitter experiences of growing up in a broken home, but he obviously contributed. Mum single handedly shouldered a lot of responsibilities until her untimely demise. But I’ve been blessed to also see Dad acknowledge his shortcomings openly to us following mum’s death and trying his best to make amends. I have seen a beautiful lesson of a Dad pick himself up and try to be better.

Even though it had to take the shock of mum’s death to perhaps bring our Dad back to his senses, I guess he really did his best to reunite with his children. Ten years on, after mum’s demise, he’s still trying his best to be there for us in every capacity as a Dad, obviously having learned his lessons. On our part as his children, I wouldn’t say there’s still any bitterness towards him for the way things went (trust me, words can’t describe how really broken our relationship with Dad was), except that we do sometimes wish mum hadn’t gone that early.

But we also do know that there are no guarantees in this life and that our story or experiences is obviously still better than many people who had to go through worse. Whether we like it or not, the obvious truth is that, there are families much more devastated by divorce and failings of parents. It is therefore important to have that balanced thought and always be reminded that, no matter what we are going through or facing today, our story is still better than millions out there.

So, on every Father’s Day going forward, we just feel blessed that things turned around for us and our Dad, when we never even imagined it would. And then, we also remind ourselves of our resolve to do better and be better.

Indeed, a charge to keep we have and a God to glorify! Happy Father’s Day to all you amazing fathers out there! Keep giving fatherhood your best shot, God being our help! 🙏🏾

Been grateful for this one thing…all my life 😊😁

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©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

Take a stand against rape and all other sexual violations

Here in our side of the world, we have demonized everything sexual so much that it blinds us to real issues on the subject. Sadly, this apparent demonization makes it all the more difficult for people to be openly expressive about their sexuality and prevents open discussions on sexual abuse issues, especially rape. Quite sadly, innocent victims who try to speak out about their abuses rather get labelled, or their situation made light of.

Very frankly, there is a general kind of hypocrisy here in our side of the world, of everybody behaving like saints who have never had sex before, talk less of ever being abused sexually or ever coming close to being violated. Our “outwardly religious but inwardly sinful” nature will never allow us to openly make a stand against sexual violence. And that is how we allow it to even take root right in our Churches (the house of God) and yet pretend it is not happening.

Sometimes, it is difficult to place a hand on the real causes of rape especially. However, there is some positive feeling that, perhaps the culture of over sexualization of women which has seen almost every man growing up to see women as sexual objects (for the most part) to be dominated and to be used at will for their satisfaction, could be a major contributory factor. Trust me, even in today’s developed world, if a man and woman should be involved in a sexual abuse issue like rape, the man will simply have the upper hand and one wouldn’t be surprised if no blame at all is given to the man and made to walk free. The man’s power or ability to coerce a woman to have his way with her will be totally overlooked and it will surely be the usual rhetoric of it is the woman who doesn’t know how to keep her legs closed or her breasts covered enough, or doesn’t know how to carry herself modestly enough to avoid being raped, etc.

Yes, women are beautiful and many times could be objects of sexual desire, but that shouldn’t mean that it is okay for men to find women worth raping. Of course, any man would find a woman with all the right curves in the right places very attractive, appealing and desirable, but that obviously must not give any man a justification for birthing the slightest thought of rape.

Sexual objectification of women, as we see even in so many works of art, may contribute somehow to the culture of rape but it still is not okay. Let us not forget that women desire or lust after men too, but we rarely see them always going about raping men all over the place.

Obviously, the argument is not that women must absolutely be believed and to not hold any blame in a sexual abuse case (because men get abused too), but there just shouldn’t be any systemic bias towards men, and women must be given a voice to speak out against their abusers and demand justice. It is also important that the wheel of justice does not continue to grind slowly for female victims of sexual abuse, as it appears to be the case. Justice delayed could be justice denied.

We certainly need more public outrage, support and demand for justice in the fight against rape, like in the recent rape and murder of the young Nigerian student Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, right in a church where she felt was a safe haven to go and study in. The growing silence of us as a people only gives room for sexual abuse cases to keep growing and for the offenders to even feel free to walk about in society and continue to perpetuate more evil. We must all continue to lend our voice to the fight against sexual abuses because just one day, it could be any of us or our family members falling victims.

Maybe it is easy for me to relate with this rape and sexual abuse thing because someone very close to me almost got raped by a Pastor she held in high esteem and trusted as a brother and friend. Such traumatising experience is one that lives with victims their whole life and only God knows the damage it creates on various aspects of their life.

Maybe that is why a big part of my problem with rape and all other forms of sexual abuse is mostly with the Church, who I expect to take some lead in the fight against sexual abuses, but somehow they seem to play a laid back role and rarely add their voice against this social canker. But that’s not surprising because hardly would you find any Church on the surface of this earth that has not somehow tried to shelve issues of sexual abuse right in the Church under the carpet. If the Churches are constantly seen to be practicing and encouraging sexual abuse, how would they then have the moral right and confidence to come out and speak boldly against the practice?

It’s a really tough world out there for women to get justice for sexual abuses because this male dominated systems or support structures (including the Church) seem only interested in preying on women. The best we see them do is offering women a platform to hear them out but that’s where it seems to end; meanwhile what is of more essence to the victims and the public is real action or justice beyond just being heard. It’s really important for our justice systems and social support structures to be seen to be working effectively.

Perhaps the real work starts with all of us playing our part in creating a safe society for all and really taking a stand against sexual violence. May we not be seen to rather encourage it by either being silent or shielding offenders because they might be our Pastors, employers, family members, friends, and what have you. A victim somewhere is perhaps depending on us. We can all be the voice of the voiceless.

#SayNoToRape #NoToSexualViolence

Kindly share your opinion with us, for together, we can all become a strong voice in creating a safe world for all.

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©Mark Gadogbe (2020)

The good girl bad girl balance

I guess the sexy churchy girl balance is very important when it comes to marriages and/or relationships. Most men, I guess, want a good balance between holy and sexy; they want their woman’s ‘bad girl’ game to be just as good as her holiness game. Obviously, a woman’s sex appeal must be top notch to continually attract her man. Men want the good girl and the bad chick, all in one package.

Somehow, a woman must be a bit of a ‘bad girl’ and a ‘church girl’ to be perfectly right for a man. Women who switch both roles perfectly well are great at keeping their men and their home. Women who downplay physical attraction often lose out because the rare truth is that, it is mostly hard for a man to feel a sexual or romantic connection with a woman he is not physically attracted to. That is why a woman must invest in always looking attractive and appealing to her man; she must invest in everything that makes a woman look and be sexy.

A man would crave a bit of the ‘bad girl’ when all a woman offers is too much of the ‘good girl’ character. When it’s all too religious, it gets boring. Obviously, that must be the real reasons why I lot of christian sex books had to be written to at least teach church girls how to be sexy, act horny, play a little ‘dirty’, spice things up and have great sex? Godliness is of course a great gain, but a woman must not only learn how to be a prayer warrior.

Similarly, the ‘good girl’ will be most desired when all a man gets is the ‘bad girl’ stuff. Too much of everything is obviously bad, right? That good balance of a good girl bad girl trait is absolutely a winner with men.

The reverse is also true, just so we don’t put it all on the women. Women also want a good balance of the playboy and church boy traits in their men.

Obviously it’s all about times and seasons, knowing when to be churchy and when not to be, right? 😊

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…And do share your opinions with us!

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

Secret love relationships 

Growing up, I made a very important decision early that when I fall in love, I was not going to encourage it to be a secret relationship. I told myself I will do all I can to meet her siblings and parents, either while we are friends or within the first year of dating. Why? I just thought it was the wisest thing to do if the end goal of my relationship with her is marriage. If it’s not for marriage, then well…it wouldn’t matter meeting anybody because we won’t need anybody’s approval or disapproval really.

Maybe it was not so much a decision I made; maybe it’s because I was brought up that way. My mother of blessed memory never encouraged wrong associations and would make sure we bring our friends home. She was very homely and just wants to know our friends and wants us to feel comfortable bringing them home instead of staying at friends homes. She was very protective and interested in what kind of friends we had. If you have a mother who is very strict on the rule that all her children be back home by 6pm no matter where they said you were going to, then you would understand how she never joked with certain things. It became a part of us that no matter where we were or which friends we are with, as long as it is approaching dusk, we start making our way home.

It was like the default setting. It didn’t matter to her whether you are the eldest or youngest or whether you are old enough to take care of yourself, you just must never stay out late!

So, yes, I grew up with the decision to feel it’s very important and safer to bring my girlfriend home quite early in the relationship or to get to know her family early. That one thing was very important to me because I needed to know very early in the relationship whether or not her family will accept me, first of all as a friend, and then potential partner, and whether she and my family will be cool as well.

Travelling the distance in a relationship to later discover you are not accepted by either of your families is a pain and wasted years. I will rather break things off early than sink in deeper before that reality dawns on me. I know how families can be and I didn’t have to lie to myself that all will be well when we are ready to marry.

In the culture we find ourselves, family approvals have a very important place in marriage. Our people say that marriage is more about two families coming together than just two individuals. Deciding not to care about parental approvals and blessings and just elope to get married is a recipe for disaster. As such, it is better to cross that bridge earlier than later in a relationship and that was my principle.

For me, I believe whatever you run away from in your journey to marriage or in life generally, you will still meet later. So, why not get the hurdle at least half solved now or why not know your fate sooner than later in a relationship leading to marriage?

Secret relationships will surely only have one or two outcomes, and that could mean it ending in tears 🤷🏽‍♂🤷🏽.

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…And do share your opinions with us.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

When we get to Heaven, we’ll be surprised

When I Got to Heaven….

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door
Not by the beauty of it all
By the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp
The thieves, the liars, the sinners
The alcoholics, the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Uncle Bill, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, “What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must have made a mistake.”

“And why is everyone so quiet
So somber? Please give me a clue.”
“Hush, child,” said He. “They’re all in shock
No one thought they’d see you!”

Never judge another person – leave that up to God!

Marriage Tip 101: The right foundation

I believe a right and timely information shared is a life saved, or possibly a marriage saved or reoriented. So, here are a few tips on getting a marriage set on a good Christian foundation for success:

  • Our husband-wife relationship continues to show the unseen relationship between God and His Son, Jesus; and also show the relationship of Jesus to His bride, all believers.
  • A husband who sacrificially serves his wife shows what our Savior’s love is like.
  • A wife who helps her husband demonstrates the work of the Holy Spirit.
  • A wife’s willingness to follow her husband’s lead mirrors the sheep Jesus called to follow Him.
  • A husband’s desire to understand his wife is like the gentle Spirit of God who is our Counselor and friend.
  • Your home’s stability and health depend on this God-created design working as He intended.

Got a few tips of your own? Do share with us, you never know whose marriage that useful tip may help save. ❤

Cheers and may our marriages do great! 🙏🏾

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

A Prayer in this time of global distress 🙏🏾

May the Lord answer us in this time of global distress;

May the name of the God of Jacob protect us.

May He send us help from the sanctuary and grant us support from Zion.

May His banner of love cover us and keep us safe from every plague.

May He remember all our sacrifices
and accept our burnt offerings.

May He give us the desires of our heart and make all our collective efforts succeed.

Surely, we will shout for joy and offer praise when we are victorious, and will lift up our banners in the name of our God!

May the Lord grant all our humble requests in our time of distress.

AMEN and AMEN!!!!

How Church is Church Now?

In the wake of Corona Virus, everything has changed across the globe, including Church services, doctrines and the likes. These few random thoughts have been crossing my own mind lately.

They used to castigate those who worship from home via TV and online platforms as not being Christians after all. Christians are only those planted in a Church and never miss Church, blah, blah, blah. Hope we are asking ourselves how Christian we all are now being at home and doing Church online?

They used to take pride in preaching in or to huge congregations. See how awkward it is now to be preaching to empty chairs and nobody standing up to clap for you or give you needless fans? Hope those your many body guards who don’t want anybody nearing their revered men of God are still at post protecting you in an empty Church? Hope some men of God have started learning again how to carry their own Bibles to the pulpit? Hope some wives of men of God can now have some true happiness and not have to fake in Church pretending to be happy with their husbands never sitting at home in the name of doing God’s work?

Oh how they used to take for granted church members who leave everything they have to come sit and listen to the word of God preached. Then, there are those haughty ushers who think they are the best of human beings God has created just because they are privileged to direct people to their sit. Will you now go and direct empty seats or you will direct people online? Hope we’re all learning now that everybody matters.

And oh, now that it is communion service, I hope it is okay now and acceptable to use shortbread, pie, fruit juices, just anything we find in our fridges to represent the communion bread or wafer and communion wine? Should it matter now, or should we still argue about which Church is doing it the right way or not?

Hope a lot of our ‘stupid’ doctrines, practices and attitudes in Church are giving way in these few days and we can enjoy some sanity from the confines of our rooms, as we all pray, read the Bible ourselves and build our personal relationship with God?

May God help us all come out of this global storm and be better people and believers.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

Hope… in the midst of Corona Virus

Hope always finds a way.

Lose it and you may lose your way.

Life’s of little meaning without hope.

For our very survival depends on hope.

Hope keeps us going.

Even when the storm keeps raging.

Hope keeps us rising.

Hope for an end in sight.

Hope for a better life.

Hope in a better tomorrow.

Keep hope alive.

You’ll stay alive.

You’ll keep afloat.

In all of life’s boat.

A world without hope is a battle already lost.

So, share a bit of hope with all that’s feeling lost.

And together we shall win.

A dying world, life to receive again!

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020