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

Dating is easy…Marriage is hard work

​Marriage preparations do not end at the altar

You are allowed a temporary sigh of relief and accomplishment at the altar…but almost immediately begins real work; a new reality. Dating is easy…Marriage is hard work. 

When in doubt, remember all the billion people who couldn’t keep it together even at the easy dating stage. If dating could not last…marriage could not too. You may not like that reality but it’s just the simple truth. 

God meant marriage to be forever, of course your Pastor told you that; but it’s not always forever if you don’t put in the works. And who says your Pastor’s marriage is all rosy and a heavenly Jerusalem 24/7; don’t believe that lie, they just want you to see it that way. They go through every thing every normal marriage goes through; are they Jesus? How will you feel if your Pastor comes to say on the pulpit “things are not going too well with my marriage but we’re still working things out”. You think it’s not a possibility? The Pastor’s marriage has good times and bad times just like every other marriage. 

There are no perfect marriages; yours wouldn’t be either. So, chin up and let go of all the fantasies! 

Always remember; never forget

Here are some things to always remember…and one thing to never forget.

Your presence is a present to the world.
You’re unique and one of a kind.
Your life can be what you want it to be.
Take the days just one at a time.

Count your blessings, not your troubles.
You’ll make it through whatever comes along.
Within you are so many answers.
Understand, have courage, be strong.

Don’t put limits on yourself.
So many dreams are waiting to be realized.
Decisions are too important to leave to chance.
Reach for your peak, your goal, and your prize.

Nothing wastes more energy than worrying.
The longer one carries a problem, the heavier it gets.
Don’t take things too seriously.
Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets.

Remember that a little love goes a long way.
Remember that a lot . . . goes forever.
Remember that friendship is a wise investment.
Life’s treasures are people . . . together.

Realize that it’s never too late.
Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
Have health and hope and happiness.
Take the time to wish upon a star.

And don’t ever forget . . .
For even a day . . .
How very special you are.

The two visitors 

Two visitors came to see me, both at the same time,

Both were trying to win control of my body, heart, and mind

One was dressed quite plainly, one dressed fit to kill,

I couldn’t see the battle they were waging for my will.

One promised to give fame, friends and riches beyond compare,

Anything I wanted, it seemed, and while I was standing there,

He showed me how life could be, for a little while at least,

I couldn’t see beneath the clothes, to recognize the beast.

The other told of hard times, of sacrifice and pain,

Ridicule and persecution, nothing much to gain,

But there was something deep in this visitor’s eyes

That made me feel to choose Him, somehow would be wise.

I guess you know the outcome…..

Watch your associations

Some people don’t want us to become better than them so they always find a way to discourage you or create doubts in your mind about your plans.

It’s important that you never become comfortable with your associations or where you have reached in life. Sometimes your vision is bigger than that of your associates and you need to always realize that so you don’t settle with their mediocrity.

One of my favorite quotes is by Steve Maraboli. He says:

“People who lack the clarity, courage, or determination to follow their own dreams will often find ways to discourage yours. When you change for the better, the people around you will be inspired to change also….but only after doing their best to make you stop. Live your truth and don’t ever stop.

You must get to a point in life when you can tell yourself you’ve got no time for negative energies. Life is too short to entertain, court or waste time on negative judgmental assumptions of people or the attitude of people who constantly try to make you feel bad or doubt yourself.

This year, resolve to live your best life and be your best self.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020