Two Becoming One

I think the biblical “two becoming one” is not to be interpreted mathematically to mean the fusing of the personality traits of two individuals into one.

Some couples wouldn’t mind the total erasure and wiping away of their individual identities, dreams and interests to take on that of another person and we cannot resent them, yet for many others, that brings a feeling of total nonexistence and a kind of living in a cage.

There’s a place for sacrifice and compromise in every relationship. Nonetheless, individual passions, dreams and interests must be nurtured where necessary for the good of the relationship. It’s one thing sacrificing, compromising and still being happy in a relationship and it’s another thing sacrificing, compromising and pretending to be happy taking on the identity of someone else you are quite or totally out of touch with. Then again, there is a place for shared passions and interests.

In reality and the field of play, it’s always about finding a balance and not about partners trying to fuse themselves into something like a ‘nuclear fusion’ thing. The oneness of which the Bible speaks, I believe, is not a kind of abstract science or reasoning or some idealist thing.
Everyone’s reality of “two becoming one” is different and I can bet the biblical “two becoming one” is still a mystery being reviewed and interpreted by theologians…just like we know in part and we prophesy in part. Lol

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

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Needs and red flags

The very core of marriage is about meeting the needs of each other. That’s the very foundation. Destabilize that and then marriage is as good as dead. No amount of prayer will meet a man or a woman’s physical needs…at most, it will meet their spiritual needs.

The tragedy with being too spiritual is that you believe marriage is a spiritual union and so you give little attention to physical things…you think everything physical is carnal to you. Marriage may be spiritual but it is lived 100% of the time in the physical.

No marriage can survive, no matter how much you pray, without the physical and emotional needs of both partners being met. The problem sometimes is that, as our marriage evolves, we stop asking the critical questions of what our partners needs could be at every phase of the marriage. We assume we are meeting their needs but sadly, we actually may not.

Everybody changes and same with our needs. Yesterday’s needs could be totally different from today’s needs. A successful marriage is one that makes a conscious effort to continually carry out a needs assessment of the players in the marriage as the years go by. It’s not enough to only assess your needs just before marriage; it’s equally important within the marriage, year in year out.

I came across a beautiful piece by Joy Ehonwa and the second paragraph is what’s so important to me!

Joy Ehonwa wrote:

“Some marry for love and wish they hadn’t attached so much importance to it and married “sensibly” instead. Others make practical choices and later wish they had held out for love. There are no guarantees to this thing.

What sucks is underestimating the power of who you really are, and marrying someone who is unable to provide what you need, eyes wide open.

People who do this are normal people like you and me. They often suspect before the wedding that they’re short-changing themselves, and so they avoid discussing the contract.

Affection is a vital need for Ayo, but she marries a man who is aloof, because he has money and can give her the good life.

The prayer team leader doesn’t stir Dave as a lover should, but she would be a good accessory to his pastoral ministry so he goes ahead and marries her.

Nkechi needs quality time to thrive, but she marries a man who is always travelling, because time is running out and she needs to settle down.

Love is delicious – I’m a huge fan – but it is never enough to sustain a marriage. Why can’t we tell ourselves the truth about what we really need, what we can give up, what we can live without, what we can offer, and marry accordingly?”

Read that? What a beautiful piece. Guess it’s fair to say life is all about choices and we must either make the right ones or blame no one when we make the wrong ones. In serious retrospect, you would have realized you could have avoided the many pitfalls you are probably in now but you chose to ignore the red flags and treated your decisions lightly.

The lesson in here is probably to know that when it comes to marriage, you don’t make light your decisions…even though it is a chance we are all taking and just hoping for the best outcome.

…………………………………………………………

Till next time, do share your thoughts with us. We all could learn a thing or two, so don’t hold your thoughts. 😊

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

The Christian Marriage Vow

On being for or against the Christian vow:

I’ve said it many times just like we’ve been taught many times…that ideally, Christian marriages are supposed to be the best model of marriage out there.

But then again, the thing with Christian marriages is the temptation to take each other for granted because of the vow we make to God to never leave. At the back of our minds, we know that as long as the issue does not have to do with infidelity, we are not allowed to leave the marriage. So, we take advantage of that and stop being very loving and caring in so many ways…in so many little things that rather end up meaning so much that they can shake the very foundation of the union.

We endure so much abuses and neglect in our Christian marriages because we just can’t stand up and leave. The vow has bound us to all the silly, stupid, irresponsible actions and attitudes of our partners…and wickedly, many people before marriage hide that hellish aspect of their miserable lives until after the vow, then they set sail and begin showing their horrible character. We end up therefore on the most part just enduring our marriages instead of enjoying it.

On the one hand, the vow keeps things sane because without it, everybody will just walk out at the slightest wrong, discomfort or unmet needs; leaving the family unit irreparably broken. On the other hand, it’s just a mess…enduring all the unthinkable until God Himself comes back to save your sorry ass.

Possibly, this situation stems from a wrong understanding of the vow, but sadly, that’s the practice of the vow in most Christian marriages. If only they would but tell you the glamour you see on the outside (even in Church) is only a cover up for a slowly decaying marriage, will you even believe it?

(PS: if you want to exercise the slightest thought of me being against Christian marriages, stop right there and go back to sleep 😜).

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Withholding sex as punishment

Here’s what someone said to a friend who was denying her partner sex or withholding sex as punishment for some frivolous reasons:

“Better go sleep with your husband before someone else ends up sleeping with him! Unless you don’t want the marriage anymore, then it doesn’t matter; but if you do, babe run fast and go sleep with him like your life depends on it!”

The recipient of the message was so unhappy that the friend didn’t think about her feelings, or what her husband might have done but only to scare her and make it look like it’s her fault or sex just can’t be used as a reward for doing good.

But truth is, the friend had faced that sad experience before and was just saying the hard truth: withholding sex to get the good out of a spouse does not always work and can blow up in your face. Sex can be used as a reward for doing good but it also shouldn’t! Sex in marriage isn’t supposed to be optional. Neither is it supposed to be used as punishment.

Like it or not, the reality is that someone somewhere is always desiring your spouse and nursing the thought of sleeping with your spouse, and when you give them the chance out of negligence, they will. Oh yes, they will! And it will happen so fast before you realize it. When you play the loose with your spouse and they run dry on emotional satisfaction, you are only just slowly pushing them into the arms or bed of another.

Emotional detachment is something you must prevent in your marriage at all cost because you run the risk of losing your spouse once that connection fizzles out. And for many out there, it doesn’t matter to them whether it’s for a short spell, a day or two; if they get your spouse, they will seduce them with torrents of all that you are not giving them just to snatch them from you.

Sometimes, withholding from someone what’s fundamental to his/her survival can blow up in your face because they will always get it one way or the other. If respect is fundamental to a man and you withhold it, he will automatically seek it from or be easily drawn to another who offers it.

People are naturally attracted to and crave what they like and not what they dislike. Human beings love sex and crave it…and till eternity, people will always be tempted by it. That’s just the truth. This is something their life depends on and it makes them vulnerable to the extent that they could potentially go against their will to have it elsewhere when you refuse to offer it. They are not addicted to sex; it’s just a basic need for their well-being and survival. You say sex is not for survival? A billion marriages die from the lack of it, hello?

So, what’s the point? It’s simple: punish with anything but not with sex. Punish with anything but not that which is fundamental to a spouse’s survival.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

No justification for cheating? 

“I am married to a preacher. I love him, but he’s hardly home. Preaching assignments here and there. The little time we get to be together too is always ruined by visitors and phone calls from Church members and their ’wahala’. Dave, I can’t even compete for his attention, let alone, time. That’s why I am having an affair with my Ex-boyfriend. At least, he sees me.”

This thing eh. Extremists say there is never any justification for cheating and someone who truly loves you will never cheat on you no matter what. Eh? Be there and be talking big grammar. 😊

Me, I always say whether cheating is justifiable or not does not take away the fact that there are plenty of “good reasons” why people cheat which must never be overlooked or made light of.

It may not make sense to you, but it made sense to them enough to even consider the possibility of cheating on you (maybe grace kept yours from going all the length so don’t boast). What is so trivial to you is not that trivial to somebody o. No human being takes neglect or abuse (of any kind) forever. It gets to a point where enough becomes enough, and no matter all the scriptures you quote…there’s no turning back for them. That’s how sensitive a human beings’ needs are.

Keep trivializing things in your marriage/relationship and keep taking for granted the balance between physical/emotional needs and spiritual needs.

This thing is some way o. I’ve seen a lot of “hard tongue speaking busy for God people” whose life became miserable after the marriage they took for granted, giving all their time to God’s work, began to shake. One will wonder in the end, if their marriage was that equally important to them before they kept relegating it to the background and kept quoting a million scriptures and reasons to keep their partners sacrificing and sacrificing and sacrificing. To what end, only God knows.

I’m not against doing God’s work or winning the whole world for God or any other good paying secular work for that matter. I’m all about creating a good balance in life because even Bible is against a false balance. And I’m all against abusing marriage in the name of doing God’s work and trying to justify it.

If the reason why you keep putting everything else above your marriage or partner’s needs is good enough justification for you, then their reason for cheating on you (or leaving you) because their needs are not being met should be equally good enough justification for them. Who’s the judge of what’s justifiable to a person?

Yes, I’m not for cheating and neither am I a fan of that blunt lose talk or phrase “there can never be any justification for cheating“. Action and reaction has long been a proven fact of life. So is the saying “you reap what you sow”. You can’t reap a good infidelity-free marriage/relationship if you don’t give it good enough time and effort it requires to safeguard it. You can’t boast of well trained children when you don’t stay present in their life to play your parental roles.

Why marry when you know you can’t have or make enough time for it. Nothing takes our time except we allow it to. It is we that made ourselves busy and we have the choice to always undo that at will. If you don’t want to, be willing to pay the price for it, after all, every choice in life comes at a cost.

So stop making all that noise about, when someone cheats on you, then it means they don’t love you. It’s not a general or universal rule, so don’t make it one. Even Jesus we proclaim our undying love for but we keep sinning against Him. We keep “cheating” on Jesus and breaking His heart 😊. Probably they loved you to bits but you took it all for granted, refusing to change and still expect them to be there. So yes, some will cheat on you and still be there…even after all our sins we don’t break off from Jesus, do we? 😊. Oh, that’s different? How different?

Some people will leave you so fast, others will wait on you for so long, but in the end, everybody moves on or away from anything toxic or that which makes them constantly unhappy. Even Jesus will throw you into Hell eventually if you constantly keep breaking His heart and not repenting 😊.

It doesn’t matter how long it takes, they will eventually move. So if your pride is that your partner has been tolerating your “stupidity” for so long and haven’t left or cheated yet, it’s just a matter of time. Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, but ever seen marriages that break after so many years; 10, 20, 30 years? You will wonder wonder what happened after all those years. You think human beings tolerate nonsense forever? 😜

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

On living life as singles… 

There’s no denying the fact that WHAT WE ARE AS SINGLES IS WHAT WE BRING INTO MARRIAGE! 

If all you know as a young single man or woman is the likes of promiscuity, sleeping around, living extravagant lifestyles, indecency, chasing after money and rich men or sugar mummies, etc…don’t expect an easy miracle in your marriage. Well, that is if you plan on getting married one day anyways. 

Change is of course possible in life, but painfully slow. Same it is in marriage…you don’t just wake up and your marriage transforms from bad to good. Pray all you want but you’ve got to also put in the works. The outcome of every marriage is based on the foundations you laid, not only at the beginning of the marriage, but foundations that go all the way to your single days. 

Life comes in different phases and each phase a build up on the former. The single phase is but only a temporary preparatory stage for transition into marriage and the values you build or acquire while single will determine the joy, peace and success of your marriage when that phase opens. 

You don’t live life anyhow and just change overnight to enjoy easy success in marriage. I will be surprised at any such testimony because even if God gives you a good man or woman to marry you and one that’s willing to transform you, it almost always is a painstakingly slow process. Even our salvation in Christ Jesus we have to work out before we attain perfection…how much less marriage. 😊

So, whiles enjoying all the freedom and joys of being single, be sure to think beyond that phase and work really well on yourself. It is true that as a man thinketh so he is, but if thoughts could just transform into reality without effort, the level some of us will be at eh, it will be so out of this world. 

So, the question is “what are you sowing with your life as a single man or woman“? Are you sowing seeds that you think will blossom into temporary gratification that don’t fit the destiny God has for you? Know that God has hopes and dreams and plans for you as a single person and you have to know it and walk in it.   

At the end of the day, remember that God himself has put a stamp on the fact the WHATEVER A MAN SOWS HE REAPS. Your choice! 😊

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Marriage: A step of faith

At the end of the day, marriage is always a step of faith…there really is no best time. Once you are of marriageable age, every time is the best time. 

You just need a little bit of preparation, some small finance and seeking of God’s face and grace. If you want to wait until you get everything right, you may never enter it the time you should. 

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility. Compatibility is important but you will lose out on a lot more if you put all your focus on just that. Marriage goes way beyond compatibility issues. 

So, take that bold step of faith. On your marks, get set…go!! 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

I can love him/her better than you 

Always remember that everything you are doing to or for your husband/wife or your boyfriend/girlfriend, somebody else can do it and even do it better. Don’t say it’s not possible…it is! 

If you’re giving him/her sex, somebody else can also give them that and even give them better. Maybe your stronghold is food or taking care of the home…but do you think nobody else cooks better than you or can ever manage your home or partner better than you? You think nobody else can spoil your girl/wife better than you’re doing now if they get the chance? 

Everything you do in life, somebody else can do it better than you. The only reason why you are still there and still the only one doing it is simply because that other person has not been given the CHANCE. So, never lose guard and start playing dull moves. Everybody can potentially lose their partner to the next available highest bidder. 

You’re not irreplaceable in even the most loving of all relationships. Just do something very silly, or worse case, just die now and see how soon you’ll be replaced by someone else. It’s natural for voids to be filled, just like in every working environment. 

Like Sam Casey put it: 

“It’s easy to see your position in leadership at the office as becoming more important than your job as the leader of your home. No one is indispensable. Everyone can be replaced on the job. God can raise up another leader to do what you are doing. It’s worth asking your spouse from time to time to make sure you stay on the mark” 

Never stop loving your partner, never stop doing right by them. And never stop evaluating yourself and each other. Start treating them wrong…and you will soon see. You will wonder where that highest bidder taking what belongs to you even sprung up from. Oh boy, they have always been there! They have always been secretly admiring and wishing for what you have. All it had to take was your negligence. 😜

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

3 Wedding Day Prep Tips for Men’s Mind, Body, and Spirit

They don’t call it the “bridal” industry for nothing, folks. When it comes to weddings, men are usually seen as a handsome prop rather than one half of the important union that is about to take place.

No matter what the bridal industry says about men and their weddings, getting married to “The One” is an important rite of passage that should be treated as such. You may not care about floral arrangements or choosing wedding colors, but it’s important that you take the time to prepare yourself for your wedding day. This doesn’t just mean your wedding day outfit either. Check out this list of tips and helpful tools to help you look your best on your wedding day and beyond!

Your Commitment and Communication

Now I know that you have already completed a big task by asking your partner to be your fiancée, but your duties don’t stop there. Wedding planning is typically seen as the bride’s responsibility, but she needs your help too! You’re making a big life commitment, so continue to commit to helping with the wedding all the way through the process. You probably have no idea what goes into planning a wedding and that’s okay. Do a little research and check out this groom-specific wedding planning guide from The Knot.

The best thing you can do when wedding planning begins is ask your partner what she’d like you to be responsible for. If she doesn’t know right away, that’s okay. Just make sure to keep asking how things are going and if you can help throughout the process. Sometimes just being a listening ear for her to vent is more helpful than you know. You’re in this together, right? Also, if your future bride asks for your opinion, it’s not helpful to say, “I don’t care.” It may seem like you’re doing her a favor by giving her the final say, but not giving your opinion at all isn’t what she’s looking for. Your partner is looking to you, her future life partner, for reassurances and validation, so offer it!

Find a handy list of ways a groom can help plan too. If you have strong opinions about an aspect of your wedding day, speak up in the beginning.  Communication is a two-way street and something you and your partner need to continually work on for your whole lives together.

Effective communication makes a happy bride

Your Looks

While your wedding is about your love and your commitment to each other, there’s no shame in wanting to look amazing on this day. You don’t have to completely change how you look for your wedding day, but it’s important to look your best for you partner and feel confident.

Hair

You want to make sure your hair is feeling and looking healthy. It’s advised not to try a new hairstyle that radically different from what you usually have right before the big day. Instead, work with a trusted hairstylist in the months leading up to your wedding date. You can find a look you love, and work on maintaining it. Is your hair starting to thin? Take steps to keep your scalp and hair healthy by checking for signs of baldness, taking care of your health overall and consider adding a biotin vitamin into your diet, like biotin gummies from hims, a men’s wellness company. Hims has other hair loss products that can help your hair health too. Not only will biotin help your hair grow, it’ll help your nails grow too.

 

Hims products

Nails

Paying attention to your nails probably just consists of trimming them every now and then, but think of the photos on your wedding day. Your new rings and held hands during your ceremony will be photographed! So don’t overlook this detail. Treat your bride-to-be to a manicure and ask if you can join. It’ll be a fun way to prep together! If you’re not interested in going through the entire manicure process in a salon, consider asking your partner if she’ll help you out. It’ll save  you money too!

Skin

This is another important aspect to not overlook. If you have skin issues, start to address them months in advance. Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated, so start to develop a simple routine now. A beauty routine isn’t just for the ladies! All you need is some face wash, moisturizer, and a lip balm to keep your face looking smooth. There are cool skincare products from Harry’s that you can subscribe to and have shipped right to your door. Their products are sold in Target too, so you can give your lady another reason to shop there. Additionally, eating well and drinking plenty of water does wonders for your health and your skin.

Men’s grooming essentials

Your Health

Mental Health

This shouldn’t be limited to wedding prep, but it’s a good time to mention it anyway. If you’re struggling with your mental health, there’s no better time to address it than the present. See a therapist or speak to your doctor about how you’re feeling. If you’re unable to see a medical professional, seek out your pastor or other trusted friend or family member. Sometimes all you need is someone to talk to and share with. There are apps like Headspace that can help you learn how to meditate too. Taking care of your physical health can have enormous benefits on your mental health too.

Physical Health

Again, this doesn’t have to be limited to wedding prep, but having your wedding date on a calendar is a perfect goal to help motivate you to make changes for the better. If you don’t already have a gym routine, start to establish one now. It can be at home or in a gym with a trainer – whatever you’re comfortable with. If you’re not a gym person or don’t feel comfortable going to one, start simple! You can simply start going for power walks or runs around your neighborhood or download an app like Nike+ Training Club and many more. Buy yourself (and your future bride) a Fitbit and start challenging each other and tracking your steps, calories burned, and sleep.

Working out brings out the best in you

So there you have it… Now, it’s your turn to share your thoughts with us. We’ll love to hear them. 😊