Quit the blame game

There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction.

The moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you and you can’t afford to keep blaming people forever!!

The day you realize that you are in charge of how you approach problems in your life, and that things will turn out better or worse because of YOU and nobody else, only from then on that you would be a happier and healthier person and truly build a life that matters.

I beseech you…PLEASE QUIT THE BLAME GAME NOW AND MAKE THE BEST OUT OF YOUR TODAY!

Positive declarations and prayer

Today, I feel led to speak LIFE over you:
I command every dead thing in your life to come back to life.
May your business, finances, marriage, relationship, education, etc witness a glorious facelift.
I declare that your joy is returning and out of your belly shall flow springs of living waters.
I see God writing your story anew and I see the windows of heaven open over you.
You shall not die before your time but you shall live to be celebrated.
I silence every voice of accusation against you.
You are delivered from the grave!
The hand of the devil is lifted off your business, marriage, family, children, etc!
From today onwards, your destiny is secured and God’s pillar of fire is separating your camp and that of your enemies.
No evil shall befall you and no plague shall come near your dwelling.
You are blessed, an oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord.
Many shall come to enjoy your fruits, to drink of your waters.
You are victorious in life and nothing can change that;
For He that has promised is faithful and He shall perform it!!!
Amen and Amen!!

It’s a prayer to be claimed…so if you believe it, shout a big AMEN to receive it.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Temptation

If you have been tempted in some areas and you have not fallen, it doesn’t make you a superman. Maybe you have not been really tempted yet in the area of your weakness or possibly the area of your greatest need which is not being met.

One of my favorite quotes has always been “wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he falls“.

That quote always keeps me silent many times when people are talking rubbish and going all spiritually hyper – being overconfident, self-righteous, judgmental and feeling immune to temptation.

You think you’re Jesus? 😜

Our vulnerabilities

One of the fundamental reasons for cheating in relationships is the fact that we always crave what we miss in our life and partners, and we become vulnerable when we find it in another person. It is in that moment of lack that our cravings and the temptations associated with them grows. Talk of craving friendship, affection, true love, sex, empathy, quality time, real communication, etc.

How long can one stand being starved on those?

Pressures of young married couples

Young married couples need money to run their life. Once you marry in our part of the world, your responsibilities skyrocket because it’s never about just you and your partner. There’s so much to do and there’s so much external pressures…especially from our families. You don’t have to complain in our part of the world…you just have to cope; it’s called being “responsible“.

We’ve seen many young couples unable to survive because many fail to sit down and plan their monthly expenditure early in their marriage. When you do, you’ll actually realize you have very little to save for your future after trying so hard to satisfy “everybody”.

Everybody is trying to get money out of you in our part of the world and funny enough, they see it as their “right” to have a part in your small money. Family, friends, church, strangers, etc. Some take it as a loan and do not pay back, perhaps thinking your situation is better than theirs. Others think it is their “human right” to demand money from you just because they are your family. The Churches especially, if they have their own way, they will take all your monthly salary and tell you to go depend on God’s supply.

Many churches these days don’t care the source of your money or how their members make a living. It doesn’t matter to them how young folks make their money (genuinely or not), as long as they bring it to Church. The more you give in church, the more you’re liked and the closer you get to (or the better attention you get from) the “man of God”. The more affluent you seem, the more the Church tries to get closer to you or act as if they care about you. Minus the money, you’re on your own. Some Pastors live on Church funds (which of course keeps growing) so it doesn’t matter to them to even think about the kind of financial responsibilities their members carry outside the Church.

Out of over spirituality too, many struggling young couples themselves too don’t mind throwing money at Church even if they can’t feed their family. If their family member is in real need even, they will rather send the money to church than help the family member with it and not have anything (e.g. tithe) to give at Church.

Some churches have no clue at all what work their young members do. In fact, they know close to nothing about the people they call “members”. They care rather more about “members” bringing in money to give tithe, offertory, covenant offering and all the many others they have devised in our part of the world.

We are living in a time where many people are doing very dubious things just to make money and some feel encouraged or rather pushed by our churches and their constant demand for money and so will do just anything to “save face” in church or feel they also belong. Imagine how close you are to the “man of God” or the position you hold in Church and most times that he asks for members to sow “a seed befitting your status” you are unable to give. Some Pastors will even force you to give by calling out your name or putting you on the spot with all manner of tricks.

But the sad truth is that, most times when young married couples or “members” are even in need, family and friends offer help faster than the Churches we give all our lives to with 100% religious devotion. In fact, you even feel more comfortable going to family and friends for help than the Church. The Church mostly becomes the last resort when all avenues have been exhausted. How many churches even help their poor members? Most times, they even take longer to help. It is mostly when “members” need the Church to come through for them that the Church starts acting funny with their “are you a member in good standing” antics, but surprisingly, one’s membership never comes into question when the Church needs your money (tithes,offerings,fund raisings for projects, etc).

The financial pressures are just so much on young married couples…but many times too, we are our own enemies because we try to do too much to please everybody. We must learn to live within our means, always watch our finances and have good financial plans for our life. We must live with the mind that help is never coming from anywhere. It’s sad because I often see young married couples depend on alms just to get by, yet still give all they have without thought to church, family and friends…just to save face and thereafter wallow back into poverty. I don’t know what kind of mentality that is though. 🤔

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Image source: El Carna Studios

Death is a reality nobody wants to face

We plan everything in life except our death. Death is so scary that many of us don’t want to even say the word, let alone think about it and plan for it. Have you ever asked yourself “what if I die now; what if I don’t get to grow so old before I die?”

We see people die everyday yet we can never imagine it being us. We either feel we are better than those who have died or perhaps being Christians means we can never die. The best we do is to cast out every spirit of death or if you like, untimely death…but beyond that, we just live until we can live no more.

Many of us plan our wedding and marriages even when we don’t even have a partner or the slightest idea who we’re marrying or when we’re getting married. Everything about our lives is planned except death. We don’t even for once ask ourselves what happens if we should die now. What will happen to the children or family we leave behind?

But the truth is that, 50 years from now, many of us will die. That’s a fact. And that 50 years will come so quick we will wonder what we’ve done with it.

Today we are here…tomorrow we are gone! The “beauty” of life is that it can snap out of us or our loved ones anytime. Yeah, it’s a beauty. Lol
But we will be glad we have lived; long or short. We will be glad we have walked this earth and we will smile from Heaven as the memories of our “fun” time here plays before us. And we shall be reminded that death is part of life. We can’t have one and leave the other.

We can only put our house (borrowed life) in order whilst we live. And whether to Heaven or Hell we go; we pray we make Heaven. 🙏😊

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Sexual appetite

Okay, we are going sexual again today. 🙈

No man is different in their appetite for sex. Any normal man will have a high sex drive; the only exceptions to the rule are those suffering from some kind of sexual dysfunction.

So, dear sister, don’t feel burdened by a man’s craving for sex; rather be glad it is you he is interested in getting down with and not somebody else. If you are intentionally not offering sex to your partner (in marriage) because you feel burdened by it, you are intentionally pushing him to get it elsewhere. Perhaps you would rather he craves for someone else?

And sorry to burst your bubble, but a man will surely look for what he’s not getting elsewhere once his patience runs out o 😂. Only mad people go about looking for what is not lost. A good man will not go looking for what he already has, unless it’s lost. Once it’s not lost, why go roaming the streets? A man will drink from his own well as long as there’s sweet water in the well to continually quench his thirst. So, sisters, don’t let your wells run dry. 🤗

Understand the concept of a man’s sexual appetite and discover the reason why that good man may be cheating or being tempted to 😊. It could sometimes have a lot more to do with your “inabilities” than him. That’s not to say cheating is justified or entirely a woman’s fault anyways. But the fact is that a man’s sexual appetite is a fire that needs quenching, else it burns. 😊

The other day, a woman was complaining her husband bothers her with sex. Then she was asked if she would rather some other lady gives it to him sometimes and she said hell no! Apparently, she’s not ready to offer, neither willing to share. 🤗

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Marital rape and abuse?

A woman comes into a police station and tells the officer at the front desk that she wants to report that her husband is committing domestic violence against her, including committing marital rape against her.

An officer takes her into a room to begin interviewing her.

Officer: “Mam please describe to me incidents of marital rape and other types of domestic abuse that your husband has committed against you.”

Wife: “Well officer it all started 5 years ago after we got married. I turned him down when he asked for sex and he started telling me that because we had a Christian marriage, he and I both had a right to have sex with one another, and except for short mutually agreed upon times for when we’re sick or otherwise unable to, we ought not to turn down one another”.

Officer: “Did he force himself on you that night?”

Wife: “No – he just walked away, but I felt intimidated by the fact that he believed it was a sin for couples to deny each other, I felt pressure for the next time he wanted to have sex”.

rapewife

Officer: “Ok – so tell me more.”

Wife: “I decided I needed to set my husband straight about sex. I believe every person’s body is their own and no one has a right to coerce or convince someone to have sex when they are not in the mood, not even in marriage. I shared this truth that all of us as enlightened people should accept now in modern society. I told him it is NEVER selfish for me not to want to have sex for any reason, but it is ALWAYS selfish for him to try and convince me to have sex when I am not in the mood.

I told him that I would no longer feel pressured to have sex with him, and that really sex is just a small part of marriage. I told him I believed sex in marriage was not a “right”, but a privilege and that it should only happen when BOTH he and I were in the mood because of how happy and in love we were with each other. In fact, I even told him that just because I don’t want to have sex that often, that does not mean I don’t love him, I just don’t need it that often. I said we ought to be able to enjoy our marriage with one another, without having to need sex all the time – it should happen on special occasions when we are both in the mood.”

Officer: “So how did he respond to that?”

Wife: “He asked me if he was doing something wrong in the bedroom. He asked me if he could help to put me in the mood more often. I told him it had nothing to do with anything wrong he was doing, it was just the fact that I don’t need sex that often, and he ought to respect that and accept that. He was not happy with my view on sex and said my belief was a sin according to our mutually held belief in the Bible as God’s Word. I thought overtime he would overcome his beliefs, and realize that he could take care of himself if he needed it and just be grateful for the times when I was in the mood and wanted to have sex.”

Officer: “Mam but when did he commit marital rape against you?”

Wife: “Well there were many times, that I was not in the mood, and I said No.”

Officer: “So are these the times that he forced himself on you?”

Wife: “No he did not force himself on me, but he coerced me into having sex with him.”

Officer: “How did he coerce you?”

Wife: “Well he told me that I was being selfish, and that I was sinning against God and him by denying his sexual needs. He told me if I continued denying him that we would need to go to a Christian counselor – so I gave in many times and let him have sex with me when I was not in the mood”.

Officer: “So you gave consent? Or did her force you?”

Wife: “Well he did not physically force himself, but I felt pressured because he was going to have us go to a counselor, so I just gave in and let him. But that was still rape right?”

Officer: “Uh, no mam that was not rape. Your allowing him to have sex with you when you were not in the mood because you did not want to go to a counselor was not rape. You made a decision, you decided you would rather have sex with him than go to a counselor, you gave consent.”

consent

Wife: “Ok but later he did even more things to coerce me…”

Officer: “What things did he do?”

Wife: “He eventually got me to go to a Christian counselor, and I felt really pressured by that counselor that I had to have sex with my husband more, and that I needed to let him try to put me in the mood even when I was not – I could not believe it –who did this counselor think he was? I told that counselor he was full of garbage.”

Officer: “Then what happened?”

Wife: “Then my husband asked me after the counseling appointment if I really loved him and cared about our marriage – and I told him “Of course I do! I love our life together – we just disagree about sex”. I told him if he could just accept my views of sex our marriage would be perfect, he was a good man and I enjoyed going places with him and doing things with him. This was now two years into our marriage and we had an infant son, and my husband was such great father to our son. For some reason that was not good enough for him, he thought we needed more sex in our marriage.”

Officer: “Ok did he come to accept your view of sex?”

Wife: “No – he actually setup an appointment with the Pastor of our church and his wife! I went even though I did not want to, and our Pastor actually told me I was sinning against my husband by denying him! The nerve! It’s my body, and no one, not my Pastor, not my husband is going to tell me otherwise.”

Officer: “Mam but how did your husband commit domestic violence against you? Or when did he rape you?”

Wife: “Well after the appointment with the Pastor all of a sudden he canceled with the babysitter and stopped taking me on our weekly dates. I asked him why and he said it was because I was “sinning against him and our marriage by my willful sexual denial” wasn’t that domestic abuse? After all he was using our date night to get me to admit I was wrong about sex in our marriage.”

Officer: “Um mam – he is not required by law to take you on dates.”

Wife: “But wait – there is more. We had a new kitchen remodel that we were ready to sign papers on and he called and canceled the meeting to sign the papers to get the work started. He said the kitchen we had while outdated, was still functional and he was not comfortable with spending the money to do it. We were only cleared to get the work done based on his income, and I don’t make enough to do it on my income alone.”

Officer: “Um mam – he is not required by law to get your kitchen updated.”

Wife: “But wait you need to hear this. He used to go clean out my car every weekend. I would pick a room each weekend for him to dust and clean, and now he stopped doing that. He used to give me back rubs at least once or twice a week. Now he stopped doing that too – he can’t do that right? This is emotional abuse! This is manipulation right? He says it is “discipline” to bring me to understand God’s view of sex in marriage.

Officer: “Well mam maybe he is manipulating you or maybe he just does not want to do these things for you anymore. Either way, none of this so far that you have told me is illegal, you might not like it, I might not like it, but it is not illegal.”

Wife: “What do you mean not illegal? The law says he can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do?”

marital-rape-can-a-husband-rape-his-wife-l-llfnkm

Officer: “Mam, from everything you have told me, you have done whatever you did by your own choice. You might have done it because you wanted to avoid stress, or going to a counselor, or you just did not feel like arguing.”

Wife: “But there is still one more horrible thing I have not told you – my husband changed his auto deposit of his paycheck so it no longer goes in our joint checking account, he has his own account now. He goes grocery shopping for us each week now. I used to do the grocery shopping. He gave me the credit cards that were in my name for me to pay out of my own paychecks. I work too, but I don’t make nearly as much money as my husband. I used to be able to go anywhere I wanted and spend what I wanted, but now I have no spending money. That is financial abuse right? He can’t do that right?”

Officer: “Mam is he providing food, shelter and clothing for you and your child? Is he holding you in your home against your will?”

Wife: “Well yes he is providing those things for me and my son, and no he is not holding me against my will. He makes sure my car is fully fueled every week. He gives me some cash for if I need some things during the day when he is at work. But I used to have full access to all our money in our joint bank account and I was able to do what I wanted with our money, and now he took that from me – he can’t do that”.

Officer: “Mam – why are you still with this man? You clearly don’t see marriage the same way he does and it sounds like he is either trying to teach you something or he is getting ready to divorce you by separating his money into another account. He may have even had an attorney advise him to do that with his paychecks. If you get with a divorce attorney, your attorney can get a “status quo” order, which then requires your husband not to spend any sums of money without clearing it with the court and your attorney. The court can order that he has to provide you with a certain dollar amount each week that you can put in your own account and spend as you want as you go through the divorce process and they can order him to continue paying all the household expenses.”

Wife: “Divorce process! I just want him to stop what he is doing and let us go back to our old life. I love him and the life we have. I don’t want to have joint custody of our son, I don’t want to see my son every other week, I want to see him every day! We would have to sell our home, and even if I could keep it in the divorce I would have no way to make the payments even with child support and alimony from him. I don’t want half my life, I want all my life – the way it was! Can’t you or another police officer tell my husband to stop doing these things and we can still stay married? Can we have a judge order him to take me on dates, upgrade the kitchen, put his money back in our joint account and stop asking me for sex? My girlfriends at work told me what he is doing is domestic abuse and is illegal – that means you can stop him right and force him to stop doing all this right?”

Officer: “Um- no sorry no one can do that for you. I don’t mean to get in your personal affairs mam, but it sounds like you have quite the dilemma, there is an old saying “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”. You have to make a choice, either work out the sexual issues with your husband and make your marriage work, or divorce him and try and find a man who believes as you do, that whoever wants sex the least determines how often a married couple has sex.”

© The frustrated feminist wife. Biblicalgenderroles.com (2015)

Never jump the steps

For many, their marriage story is somewhat like this: they were so consumed by love and unable to control their passions for each other and allowed it to blaze on until “unfortunately”, she got pregnant. Then, to avoid the “Christian shame” usually associated with such, they decided to get married quickly, before any of the “over-religious Christian critics” see signs of it. And then, it is only after the baby comes…perhaps with troubling symptoms, that they begin to hang their passions on the wall and do the all-important background health and family history checks, stuffs that they should have done way back! Not everybody gets so lucky to escape situations of this nature when you allow your erections and horny feelings control and determine your direction.

It is always a very difficult decision breaking things off with one’s lover of God knows how many years when hit with the inevitably ugly situation of not being “medically compatible” perhaps in your genotypes. On the other side of the coin is “family history“. Never underestimate the possibility of the one you met somewhere and fell in love with turning out to be a direct family relation. These stuffs may be rare but real; there are true stories out there of people it has happened to who had to bitterly separate because of incest. Not every culture deals kindly with incest and some have lost lives and beautiful futures. The gods in some of our African families may not be that forgiving as the God up in Heaven.

Avoidable situations of this nature in love relationships are what a good friend of mine describes as “jumping the steps”. Of course, it’s a simple principle in relationships/marriage that, when you jump the steps, you risk a great fall that either leaves perpetual damage or a big scar for the entire life of that union. The exception to the rule is only by God’s divine grace.

So, here’s the thing. When you meet someone or fall in love with someone, still try hard to not let your horny hormones take the better of you into sleeping with each other, worst case having unprotected sex, before making the all-important family background checks and medical compatibility tests. Stop fooling yourselves that love conquers everything…there’s love and there’s stupid love. That love may fly out the door at the first smell of trouble. When in doubt, ask the millions of people all over the world who have been abandoned by the ones they once thought loved them and nothing could ever separate them.

Surely, there’s a reason why God gave us brains to use even when we are deeply and madly in love. Never jump the steps!

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Fearing the Devil more than trusting in God’s Power

The Devil’s desire is for God’s people to constantly live in fear of him and to keep the blessings of God in their life locked up and hidden so nobody can see that God is indeed a good God that blesses His Children with both spiritual and material wealth. Somehow, we have been conditioned to believe that all worldly blessings and any display of it is connected with the Devil and God is connected with only spiritual blessings.

But we must forever declare the goodness of the Lord in our lives. We must keep projecting the blessings of God in our lives and our unwavering faith in His ability to protect and save from every wiles of the enemy.

We, today’s Christians (especially in Africa), are too consumed by the fear of the Devil and that some “evil” is constantly after our lives that we keep hiding God’s glory in our life. How else then will the world know that the God we serve is a good God and one that really saves? Why should we be saved and still be in constant fear of our “family demons”? How will the world believe in the power of God and his ability to lavishly bless His children if we have nothing to show to the world.

When the Devil and his agents are busily showing forth their “sakawa” or blood monies and ill-gotten “blessings” with which they constantly lure many, we the people of God are constantly being myopic in our minds and keep hiding God’s blessings in our lives because we solidly believe letting the world see the things God has blessed us with attracts bad omen or puts us on the radar of the Devil.

Somehow, we Christians tend to believe more in the Devil’s ability to hurt us than in God’s ability to save us. We hide our marriages, our children, our businesses, our riches, our successes, etc., in fear of the “demons in our families” killing us when they see how blessed we are. Our fear of “African witches” overshadows our faith and belief in God’s saving power.

Oh, how I used to think worldly people are more blessed than Christians because all the Christians I saw around me kept acting so poor yet claiming God holds all the riches in the world. I could never see the “riches in Christ Jesus” they preach about materialize or evident in their lives as many downplayed the physical earthly riches aspect and made it more of a spiritual concept.

Why are we always “rich” in spirit and never physically? I have always wondered.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019