Abuse of the marriage covenant

Here’s a great marriage vow:

“I will be with you, no matter what happens to us and between us.  If you should become blind tomorrow, I will be there.  If you achieve no success and attain no status in our society, I will be there.  When we argue and are angry, as we inevitably will, I will work to bring us together.  When we seem totally at odds and neither of us is having needs fulfilled, I will persist in trying to understand and in trying to restore our relationship.  When our marriage seems utterly sterile and going nowhere at all, I will believe that it can work and I will want it to work and I will do my part to make it work.  And when all is wonderful and we are happy, I will rejoice over our life together, and continue to strive to keep our relationship growing and strong.” ~~ Elizabeth Achtemeier

I don’t know how different it is from the usual “for better for worse, till death do us part” Church vow. But when we say the marriage vow in Church, we are literally saying our spouses are supposed to love us “no matter what” and always find us beautiful or handsome, no questions asked. Of course, that’s the essence of the marriage vow.

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But sometimes we take advantage of that binding agreement and just let ourselves go intentionally in so many ways. We go like, oh how great it feels that we’ve just signed a contract that binds the other person to us for their whole life and nothing, except sexual infidelity, can save their skin! Sweet! Now I can relax, for every bad action or inaction of mine as long as it is not infidelity, should technically be coped with, endured and at best forgiven. Per the vow or covenant we’ve just entered into, everything is allowed as long as it does not border on infidelity…Hurray!

I vowed to love you “no matter what” so now you are at liberty to take your looks for granted! You can now just let yourself eat all the junk foods ever made, grow fat and out of shape. Oh, he should just understand that I’m now a mother and childbirth, raising children, taking care of him and all that just makes many a woman get out of shape. She should just understand that the ever-increasing responsibilities, stressful nature of my job, late night eating and all that just makes many a man develop a pot belly. Just understand and accept it as it is…so I wouldn’t have to put in any effort.

The deed is done, you have now taken the “no matter what” vow, so you can now stop giving much attention to your physique and every other thing as you used to and just corner your partner with the “no matter what” attitude whenever he/she raises a concern. Just remind him/her of the “no matter what” vow they took so they can stop whining about things you feel you cannot change. You think that’s a really safe zone? How sweet!

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Well, these and many others are the sentiments/frustrations shared by many. Problem is too many people treat marriage as a place of arrival, acceptance and comfort; a kind of destination that they arrive at and then everything else in terms of effort stops. People don’t put as much effort into bettering themselves in marriage like they did in the dating phase. After all, if it’s Christian, it never should be broken on any other grounds, right? And then upon that, if you are a man, you are allowed to force your wife into subjection no matter all the ills you do, right? How sad. That’s how God wants it?

“It is so easy to take a spouse for granted, and to take intimacy for license. We can subconsciously think since we’re married, I don’t have to be careful to be polite. We have to love each other regardless, so I can just speak without thinking about how it is perceived” ~~ Shaunti Feldhahn

Right after marriage, many people begin to take so many things for granted. The problem is not the reality that the “no matter what” covenant marriage puts us in. The problem is to be a Christian yet hide consciously or unconsciously behind that and not put in any effort to better anything. I think that is a way of dishonoring your partner and your marriage and making God look stupid for instituting marriage and giving ground rules. Nothing must be taken for granted in marriage. Marriage (and all that comes with it) should not put an end to personal development. We must not pick up a habit of putting our spouses through the “no matter what” test, especially when it is something we can make the effort to change for the betterment of the union.

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The caution is that sometimes it becomes too late to salvage anything and we must not let ourselves get to that point. And I hope it is the Bible that said:

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin”
~~ James 4:17

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

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Image source: www.federalna.ba

God, Sex and Marriage

I subscribe to marriage devotionals always. That’s because I always do not like a day to end without reading something on marriage…just anything, as long as it’s related to marriage. I find Christian devotionals on marriage the best choice. 

This is what I’m currently subscribed to; and today’s reading was quite interesting that I felt I should share. 

So here it goes:

Title: God Has An Opinion About Sex

Everyone has an opinion about sex. But did you know that God also has an opinion… a definite, distinct perspective? Unfortunately, many Christians have confused the voice of Christian leaders for the opinion of God. When it comes to sex, Christian leaders throughout the ages have had differing opinions on the topic. Here’s a brief sample…

Nothing is so much to be shunned as sexual relations. ~~St. Augustine.

The Holy Spirit leaves the room when a married couple has sex, even if they do it without passion. ~~Peter Lombard, respected 12th century theologian.

Intercourse is never without sin. ~~Martin Luther.

If anyone says that sex itself is bad, Christianity contradicts him at once. ~~C.S. Lewis.

A married couple gives a severe blow to the head of that ancient serpent when they aim to give as much sexual satisfaction to each other as possible. ~~John Piper.

No wonder Christians are confused. Who speaks for God? 

Ultimately, God speaks for Himself through His inspired Word. If you want to know God’s opinion, look no further than the Bible. It may surprise you that the Bible has quite a bit to say on the topic. Some of it you’ll love and some of it is difficult to accept. 

When a person like you or me has an opinion, it’s just that – an opinion. When God has an opinion, we call it something else – the truth. Truth is the one opinion against which every other opinion is measured. 

We all have thoughts and beliefs about sex that are not based on truth. Perhaps your misinformation about sex even came from Christian sources. However, if you truly want to see the gift of sexuality as it was created to be experienced, you must be willing to expose the lies you’ve believed as measured by the truth of God’s Word. 

Questions to Ponder: What are the primary sources that formed your opinion on sex? Can you identify any lies you believe about sex?

The End

(PS: Hope you found it interesting too? Let me know what you think. Share your thoughts with us)  
© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

Parenting in the age of gender revolution and gender confusion 

​”The first and second surgeries to remove [her] testicles and penis were successful. The third surgery to transplant ovaries into her body led to serious complications. And [her] last surgery to transplant a uterus, so that the transgender woman might be able to have children, ultimately killed her”

The trans thing is growing at a fast rate and becoming very unsettling. It’s receiving so much push and publicity at a very discomforting level. Society in the name of Modernity and Human Rights is increasingly being accommodating of things that clearly should be “unacceptable”. We now have a growing number of people identifying as:

  • Homosexuals
  • Transgender people
  • Transracial people
  • Transabled people 
  • Trans-aged people 
  • Trans-species people

What’s the next big thing and where does this end?? 

 
OK, so I watched a movie recently and a guy brought a lady home and midway into the kissing and all, he realized the lady was actually “hard” down there.  You can imagine the shock and emotional trauma on his face. He told his friend who then laughed at him that per the episode described, he’s TECHNICALLY A GAY now 😂😂 

Then recently a guy was being tried in court for stabbing and killing a woman he slept with. Apparently two minutes after the sex, the woman told him she was actually born male. And the guys defense in court? He said he’s sorry but he absolutely lost it! And why wouldn’t he? 😂😂

This things are real? Wow! 

I sometimes think every responsible parent and yet to be parents must begin to shiver at the thought of the kind of society their children are going to be raised in and the overwhelming work of damage control they would need to do to keep their children sane. Imagine your little girl asking you if she can identify as a boy? 

We have a lot of work to do in teaching our children all the good stuff about their sexuality and how they should accept and embrace their God-given sexualities. And the best ways they can work through anything they seem not to like about themselves. 

And we may have to do it way earlier before they stumble on all the garbage out there. The church will not do it for us and when we wait too long, the schools and this technologically advanced age may corrupt them way beyond repair before we even begin thinking of doing damage control. 

A lady friend of ours recently said by age four (4) she will begin to give her kids thorough but well-thought-out sex education because you wait too long and you will be surprised what your kids already know. At first my wife and I laughed at the idea of them being too young but on a second thought, it’s a very cool idea. We just have to make sure all the information churned out are very age-appropriate. And surely, with all that is going on in the world, sex education for kids must surely include gender confusion education

Parents have a lot of work to do in shaping their kids’ minds before they get polluted by all that is out. 

I envisage the parenting battle is going to be harder than before in this new age of sexual revolution. And I believe would-be couples and parents must not close their eyes on starting discussions along these lines. 

Like I always say, it’s better to know what your partner thinks about something (a habit, a societal ill, etc.) before you marry them than to wait until marriage to discover. For instance, you don’t assume your partner wants kids and would want to raise them a certain way only to marry and realize he/she does not even want them in the first place or would want to raise them that way.  

And I hope by telling my children some day that I want them to be everything or whatever they want to become in life, they do not assume the impression or freedom to want to become anything trans. If they try I will very sternly tell them to look inside their pants and tell me what they see. 😂😂

But seriously, God forbid it! But I hope He also grants us wisdom in dealing with any such eventualities should they occur, because the world as we see it now, we must be prepared and keep an open mind for just anything. 
God help us all! 😂 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 


(PS: Share your thoughts and parenting goals with us) 

Date nights and couple fun

Couple fun…?

It doesn’t take much to have a fun marriage; all you need is two bottle crown caps to play a game on your next date night! 
Try it 😂

Date nights and fun refreshes every marriage or relationship. Very little things create fun in marriage…you don’t have subject your brains to any mental agony to discover that. 

On our recent date night, we creatively enjoyed two different fun games with just bottle crown caps…and I can’t describe the atmosphere that just those crown caps created. Forget the pizza…it didn’t bring as much happiness, love and affection, more than what those crown caps did. 😝

​Now you can guess who won!! 

All I do is win, win, win no matter what…” 😜

🎤🎵🎶🎼

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

​Dear sexy young lady, 

We know your body is sexy and your breasts very appealing and arousing. But, if you care to know, all it takes for a breast to sag is one baby…with all due respect to mothers. So, you can keep bombarding us with all those sexy breasts and naked bodies for all we care. 
It won’t be long and marriage will happen, and then the babies will come…then we will thirst for those pictures of you, those very ones that you refuse to wear brassieres and just expose the “things” like that, and those full body unclad ones that show your smooth wrinkle-free and stretch-marks-free bellies, thighs and butts; and we will see if they will still trickle in 😂. 

Especially when we know you can’t afford like the celebrity role models you are copying “left right front back center”, the silicone implants or the average surgeon’s fees associated with breast augmentation, which is about $3,700, not including anesthesia, surgical facility fees, breast implants, and other expenses. 

But don’t worry if you don’t want to stop showing us your sweet sexy body and “private parts”. We will enjoy the sights, cheer you on and make you feel like we love you and would marry you. And if we are lucky, you will give yourself to us to sleep with as many times as we want, and all the while making you feel under the impression that we’re dating you for marriage. 
But when we are really ready for marriage, we know what we are looking for. We are looking for, and to marry women whose interest is in managing the home and not in showcasing their bodies all over the place. We judge your maturity and your being a “marriage material” by that “high standard”. You of course attract us with the boobs, the butts, and bikini things you constantly throw into our face all over the social media space; but that only attracts and gets our lust and sex cravings super up there. Unfortunately for you, it’s never enough when we are in for the serious business of marriage and lifelong relationship. Our wives can open their legs to us, give us free access to their bodies, and do all the things we see you throw out there…and still offer us a million more value added service. You see your life? 😂😜 

But even if you decide you will never marry, how long will you show your stuffs and we won’t eventually get tired of it? 5 years? 10 years? Lol. Those same appealing and appetizing breasts you are flaunting and letting loose today will surely sag tomorrow and become unappealing to the same people that cheered you on and gave you a million likes on social media. Even if they won’t sag through childbirth, they will by the natural process of ageing. Why, you won’t age? It’s only succulent now, but it won’t be forever…every man knows that. 😂  

And whether you like it or not your stretch marks and loose skin will surely come one day. Nature will always have it’s way. 

Worse scenario, we will move on to the younger likes of you. And you will know you have expired and wasted your youthfulness. 
Sex sells, sure! And fame through indecent exposure is good too, no worries. But marriage and raising a family is more valuable and fulfilling. Ask any man. No matter how beautiful and sexy you are, when that reality hits you, you will wonder why all those men left your sexy and beautiful self to marry those less beautiful than you.  

All the best! 😂

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

Unmarried sex and pregnancy

Just “misguidedly” get pregnant without being married and you will know whether the church that claims it loves you or everybody (sinners included) really do. If they don’t call you names, shame you, roll eyes at you like angels…come back and tell me. The church has a history and statistics in that area.

 

The same people that will treat you in church like dirt when your sins or “shortcomings” come to the open, are the same people who indulge in secret sins…some more grave than yours. It’s simple…the church’s attitude screams “do it but don’t get caught”; hide it as much as you can, otherwise you are in for trouble.

 

That is why the ones who get pregnant and immediately marry as “damage control” are more “accepted” by the church than the ones who unfortunately don’t. Trust me, when a church leader gets somebody pregnant, you can bet that the church will encourage and support him to immediately marry her. In that situation, the Church is OK with applying the Exodus 22:16 scripture to support the action [Read old post on that scripture here: Fornication…]. They will do everything possible to clean the mess of a church leader from getting into the public domain. We’ve seen, heard, and read of it countless times. But let the tables turn and a mere church member get tangled in same situation. You will see a different scripture and modus operandi being applied or enforced. Let a church elder or Pastor’s child get in the same mess as a mere member and just watch how both situations will be handled. The church cares more about protecting the image of its leaders and their household than the image of its members.

 

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When we say there is no fairness or equality in the church and can never be, people say we are just “fault finders”. Well, whatever it is, some of us choose to live with the simple principle that when you raise your expectations of church, just like anything else, you risk getting hurt. So, just do Christ; don’t do Church.

 

The church as a human setting is full of judgmental people. Period! If you don’t want to be judged and discriminated against, don’t go to church; otherwise, keep an open eye and open mind and expect the worse to sometimes happen. It’s simple…the church preaches forgiveness and repentance but judges and shames “saved” people who fall back into certain sins! Just accept it because it’s the truth everywhere. Some sins are pardonable, others are not…and by now you should know where the sin of unmarried pregnancy falls. The church treats it as an abomination, a detestable thing that is deserving of hate…and not love. If you can deal with it, stay. If you can’t, leave and find solace where your soul will get the peace it needs. Your destiny is not tied to a church, it’s tied to Christ.

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But truth for me is, no child should be treated as an abomination whether conceived in wedlock or out of wedlock. Sadly, the church will rather be happier you secretly kill or abort a child and come back to the front roll next Sunday and shout “glory hallelujah” as if nothing happened. But a church that makes you see a “child from a forgivable act” as an abomination should not be a good environment for you and your child. You may not like it but whether you do or not, nobody goes to or stays at a place where they are disliked. Well, I wouldn’t.

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Nobody says churches should encourage promiscuity, sin or wrongdoing. Whether they think shaming people deters others from same acts; or accepting, loving and supporting them encourages others into same acts…whichever way they look at it, the ultimate should be doing what Jesus would have done. No good parent teaches or encourages his/her children to be promiscuous, but when they go wayward (because one can never rule out that possibility, even God or Jesus wouldn’t), what do good parents do?

 

Nonetheless, whatever the failings of the church, may God grant grace that we flee fornication so we would not have to deal with all the negatives of unmarried pregnancies.

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© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author

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Wives carry and transmit favour

There is a lot of God’s favour on a woman’s life that rubs on and doubles a man’s favour when married to her. It’s a kind of favour that elevates; that makes a man rise; that pushes him to the apex!

 

The saying “behind every successful man is a woman” is just another way of putting the “he who finds a wife finds favour from the Lord…” biblical promise.

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Every time I look back on how far we’ve come…I confidently say to myself “I have the best wife ever”. I truly am blessed with her.

 

And surely the blessing is not because of WHAT (material things) I have in my life but WHO I have. Her personality is astonishing! And her beauty? Breathtaking!

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…And we really have come a long way on the road less travelled by many for fear of many unknowns. The “unknowns” have daily been with us, but we’ve learned to conquer many; riding at the back of the One who holds it all together so beautifully.

 

So today, halfway through another anniversary, we say…cheers to many more unknowns to conquer!

Nothing can stop us…We “all the way up”!  🙂

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

 

 

Lessons on sex

All other knowledge may get outdated but never the knowledge on sex. Lol.
If you could remember, what was your first lesson on sex? I asked myself that question recently and I bet just like many others, my first lesson on sex (and probably the only lesson I ever got from my Christian parents) was to simply abstain from sex…without even knowing or being told what sex is in the first place. Haha. Our Christian parents see sex as a very dangerous zone so they never go beyond “abstain” to openly discuss it with their kids…all the while assuming, hoping and praying that will be enough information to keep their kids sexually pure, to wit, virgins for life. Lol
It’s a good thing to never want your kids to do it, before marriage especially, but reality is that they might break your heart…they might not wait that long. They might surely experiment along the line.
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But like I always say, when it comes to sex, innocence with knowledge is far better than innocence without knowledge. It’s better to have good knowledge about sex and not engage in it, than to not know anything about it and engage in it. Sometimes, too much naivety with sexual matters can lead to your own undoing.
Seriously, talking to your kids early about sex is all good. They need to know early about God’s design for sex, the when, how and why.
OK, enough of the preamble. Today I’m sharing a few lessons I gathered recently on sex:
LESSON 1: “The average Christian has bought a bucket-full of lies regarding sex. Those lies may be so embedded in your thinking that they feel a lot like truth. The essence of who you are sexually and how you approach intimacy in your marriage is in your thought life. To the extent the enemy has infiltrated your thinking, God’s truth about sex will remain on the pages of your Bible and never make it to your bedroom. The battle begins and ends with your thoughts”
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You need to realize that there are so many lies out there that it becomes so hard to know sometimes who is saying the truth.
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LESSON 2: “While sexual restraint is the challenge before marriage, uninhibited sexual expression is the challenge within marriage”
LESSON 3: “Within the covenant of marriage, erotic, exciting sex is a worthy pursuit for both the husband and the wife. A godly marriage should include frequent and satisfying sexual intimacy”
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LESSON 4: “I think many Christian couples have no idea what freedom they have in the bedroom. God made the marriage relationship a safe place for a husband and wife to explore, experiment, laugh, and get lost in sensational sex”
LESSON 5: “Every marriage experiences some obstacle in physical intimacy. Differences in desire, medical issues, baggage from poor choices in the past, a poor body image to name just a few”. Simply, a great sex life requires a great deal of effort…not laziness.
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LESSON 6: “The enemy will do anything he can to put you in the bedroom before you get married. And he will do everything he can to keep you out of the bedroom after you’re married”.
If you read this, you are blessed because you now know a lot more than just abstinence. You’ve gained some extra knowledge. Haha.
We’ll love to hear your thoughts. Share with us in the comment box.

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

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Love making…

Again, here’s something interesting I want to share from the marriage devotional I’m currently subscribed to that I mentioned in my earlier post God, Sex and Marriage.
Here it goes…
What Kind Of Love Are You Making?
No, God didn’t make a mistake! Imagine that you and your spouse lived in sexual utopia. You always want to have sex at exactly the same time and the same way. Every initiation is met with an eager response. There is never any conflict about foreplay, being too tired, giving each other pleasure or trying something new in bed because your desires are always exactly the same.  How fantastic would that be? It would be almost like the sex portrayed in movies–what a great love life!
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God, the creative Creator certainly could have made sex that way. He could have created man and woman to be exactly the same sexually. But He didn’t. In fact, He intentionally made us vastly different.
Did God make a mistake? Did He “mess up” the master design of sex by making a husband and wife so diverse? Does He sit up in heaven and laugh that we can’t seem to please each other?
Remember that even before sin entered the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had primary sexual differences in the way God created them. God declared His creation of man and woman “very good” and this very good included your sexual differences.
God’s design for sex is NOT just for immediate exquisite pleasure (although He is all for that). But God has a much more beautiful gift of intimacy for you and your spouse to open than what the world says sex is about. Here’s the catch. It requires a different kind of love.
Sex is designed to be more than an expression of love between a husband and wife. It is also the refining fire of love. It tests and teaches a willing man and woman to reach beyond their natural desires and learn what servant love really is.
The world knows only of a love that feels good. We are born with the natural response to “love” those who meet our physical and emotional needs. This kind of natural love is essentially self-love. It really says, “I love the way you make me feel.”
The differences between you and your spouse will ultimately ask you a question: am I a servant lover or a selfish lover? God is very concerned about what kind of love you are making!
Action Step: Ask your spouse, with an open heart, how can I be a servant lover to you?
Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did? Share your thoughts with me in the comment box. Cheers! 
Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017
Marriage & Personal Development Author
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​My Chemist wife…

One of the joys of being married to my wife is how her field or career in Chemistry fascinates a “layman” like me and gets me cracking up many times. The intelligence is just far beyond my small brain! 

When she was doing her undergraduate thesis in computational quantum chemistry, I never understood anything, right from her research topic to her findings. The topic got reshaped a few times but I think the final topic was something like “Density Functional Theory Study of the Mechanism of Oxidation of Ethylene by Tungstyl Chloride“. No matter how many times she tried to explain her research work to me, the end result will be me shaking my head in disbelief at the “wonders she is cooking up“. Sometimes it gets her angry, other times it gets us both laughing hysterically. 

In my attempt to see in reality what she was up to, I once visited her in the Computation Lab but all I saw was some “dancing molecules” on the computer screen. Since then, “dancing molecules” became a term that gets us both cracking up. 

Similarly, during her masters research, one of the funniest experiences I get is when I’m talking to people about her and they ask me what research she is working on or what her research topic is. 

But how can I possibly keep a topic like “Synthesis and characterization of (pyrazolylphosphinite)nickel(II) and palladium(II) complexes and their catalytic activity towards olefin oligomerization” in mind, or just by looking at the topic have the slightest idea what the research is about? My only way of escape is to say she is doing something in the inorganic field that involves catalysis. Haha. 

When I first saw her topic and one of her many ChemDraw® chemical structures that literally gave me headache because I couldn’t understand what in the world it is, I immediately understood why she spends all those “ungodly hours” unreachable in the Lab. 

And I must confess, I tried a couple of times to read her entire thesis with hope that I will understand something but the only pages I understood were the “Dedication” and “Acknowledgement” pages. Those were the only pages written for layman’s understanding. Perhaps it’s also because something caught my eyes on that page that lighted them up to see clearer than before? 😂 

That is, I could not imagine how a whole thesis that I do not understand gets dedicated to “me myself and I“.

But well, I guess that’s one of the best things about marriage: once you marry, almost every major achievement, accomplishment, or milestone gets dedicated to you. Haha. Hope that encourages somebody to get married soon. 😂😜

The confidence that Chemistry gives my wife knows no bounds. With it, at least she’s been able to at one point in her life convince her sisters into believing that she can prepare concoctions from almost anything. 😂 😂 Who wouldn’t believe that, when a day never ends without you hearing “I’m going to the lab to prepare some reactions“? 

Well, Chemistry must be a field for those with higher brains (can’t believe I just indirectly implied my wife is smarter than me 😜). Well, she’s very brilliant, that’s for sure, and I can see her doing many amazing things in the future! And from her we’ve learned that anything is possible in life once you have the almighty Chemistry and Jesus in your boat. Init? 😉

As I write this post I’m reminded today marks 7 years since I started out on this love journey with a very naive chemistry student at the time. Cheers to you Julia McGad for balancing my “chemical equations” so well! I look forward to the PhD (Doctorate) experience 😉.


(PS: This post is also to encourage and pledge support for all the amazing women (“beauties with brains”) in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields to keep pushing to greater heights 💪👏😍)

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017