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

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

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

Church Bully & Pastor Protection Program

There is a particular stereotype whenever any scandal or issue involving a Pastor and a member of a Church creeps up in many of our churches throughout the world. That stereotype is that the pastor is always right and the member’s only motive is to destroy.

The entire Christendom switches into a “Pastor Protection” default: the Pastor is the saint who’s above reproach and the member an agent of the devil who’s allowing himself or herself to be used to destroy or cause division within the body of Christ.

Well, it appears God has favorites who are always the “men of God” and He cares nothing about His sheep, who must always be put down, shamed and suffer Church abuses in silence. Perhaps, that’s surely no intention of God and He actually sanctions no such unfair treatments within the body of Christ.

It’s sad that we see scandals being committed by the people we hold out and place confidence in as “men of God” everyday and we continue to rather protect them and not call them out. Many times, we the victims are rather forced into a culture of silence or take “let God fight my battle for me” stances and bottle up our pains at the expense of protecting the reputations of these abusive men of God and never realizing that the only thing that achieves is the liberty and emboldenment it gives them to abuse or prey on other innocent and unsuspecting lives.

If you have ever come close to being sexually abused or violated as a woman by a man of God who you see as a father figure or hold in high esteem, you would never love the experience or the psychological damage it leaves with you for the rest of your life, yet alone wish a fellow woman or sister to shelve her torment and not call out a sex offender who doubles as a man of God.

Me as a man can never even forget the traumatizing experience of someone very close to me who came near to being raped or violated by a “Pastor friend of the family” who she looks up to as a brother or father figure, such that I boil inside anytime I hear his name come up, let alone imagine the mental state of the person who actually survived the ordeal. Too many times it keeps coming into my mind and I keep telling myself, I don’t know how long I can keep this Pastor person’s identity protected, even though he actually didn’t succeed in the act (or so I have been told) and would surely one day blow his cover if I should actually hear of any similar act by him. Only God knows how many people his so called “moment of weakness” actually prevailed against or whether it actually was a one-time unsuccessful stunt; nobody knows, but the mind never forgets these things.

So, yes, I can never trust any human being, even a man of God as a “Saint”; and I resent it when people just jump to the defence of men of God caught in scandals and outrightly label their accusers as agents of division. You think God doesn’t love the victim as much as the alleged offender? Why must anybody’s word against a man of God be shot down even before it even leaves their mouth as if these leaders of our Churches can never perpetrate any evil?

Perhaps Busola Dakolo’s claims against the Senior Pastor of COZA, Biodun Fatoyinbo, may be untrue; but I sure agree with her words that God has no favorites. We are all God’s Children and stand equal before His saving grace. He loves us all the same and must give us all equal hearing. The Church must not teach us otherwise! These are surely dangerous times when you expect Church leadership to show good morals and not play cover ups that makes God look unfair and unjust.

We preach equality before the laws of the land but never before Christ. Unless the Church wants to tell us it is an Animal Farm where “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. The fact that we would even want Pastors’ images or reputation protected in the church irrespective of the wrongs they actually perpetrate or are accused of is even sickening.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Mothers and Wives…

Quickest Way To Start A Conflict In Your Home On Mothers’ Day:
When you as the man of the house go about posting, flaunting and flooding the social media space with your mum’s images and think less of doing same with your wife’s…the mother of your kids. Then you come to say that’s the job of her own kids to wish her; it’s mothers’ day, not wives day, etc. Whoever sold out that mentality to some of you men lied to you and only wants your downfall.

Women (Wife’s) don’t play like that bro! Do not say I did not warn you 😊

Happy Mothers’ Day to all the gorgeous women in our lives. We see all the sacrifice and we can’t thank you enough. Without you, we (men) are incomplete and the home is surely a wreck without you. Be proud of yourselves!

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Never argue with your Pastor

It is very easy these days to find a lot of Bible verses and passages being misrepresented or taken out of context by modern day Charismatic Preachers who attach a lot of gimmicks and “gymnastics” to their preaching just to excite the crowd. And a lot of unsuspecting members just follow everything that comes out of a Preacher’s mouth as the undiluted truth from God without any effort of exercising personal discernment.

We follow blindly especially in these days of social media craze that most men of God are now more concerned with amassing a large following than preaching the right messages. Sadly, if you’re in a Church that you don’t follow your Pastor / Preacher on social media or share their posts, you’re seen and treated more as not a friend of the Church or man of God. Our attachment and focus is more now towards the men of God and promoting them than Christ Himself or living lives that reflect Christ. They are gradually leading and defining our lives more than God (Christ); we now so easily do things to please them rather than Christ…thinking by pleasing them we are by extension pleasing God in all cases.

And the disposition of some of the men of God is so amazing that you wonder exactly enters people when they have been “called by God”. Because you have the opportunity of a congregation to preach to as a servant of God, you think everybody else in the congregation doesn’t know anything. You think you’re the only one endowed with the right kind of heavenly knowledge and should always be right. The church setting sometimes surprises me because one person shares a message and everybody is expected to agree with it…no questions asked. Take the message, swallow it hook, line and sinker and if you have a problem with it, go argue with your Bible…and not the one disseminating it. Express too much opposing views and you’ll be tagged not matured in Christ or asked where your “Doctor of Theology Degree” is. 😂

Back in the days when question and answer times were allowed during teaching services, you still are not allowed to make arguments that puts the “All-knowing Preacher” in a position of not having all the facts after all. When all else fails, they will ask you “do you argue with your Boss at your work place”? Well, then you can’t argue with a “man of God” or object to anything he does because they hear direct from God and you don’t. Just like the secular Bosses…they are always right. Spiritual Bosses…so cool 😎.

I hope they hold our hands and take us to Heaven instead of we working out our own salvation. 😊

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

The church has lost it

We have said it a billion times!
Our churches have lost it!
Both the “sane” and “insane” churches
Our people both literate and illiterate have lost it too!
In the name of spirituality…we have all lost it!
We have argued many times
How far church discipline should go
We have argued a billion times
Where the Churches assumed role of “parenting” ends
We have raised it a million times
How church “membership” ought to be defined
And where the church’s “authority” over its “members” ends
We have voiced out a thousand times
How non-ethical our church leaders are operating
How manipulative and cunning they have become
How the main purpose of the Church has shifted
How “secular” our churches have become
How we can no longer differentiate
Church from a Business or Secular Organization, etc
But for fear of being labelled “carnal”
And put in some particular stereotypes
And for how wrongly we have been brainwashed
In interpreting the “touch not my anointed…” scriptures
The “it is God speaking through me” gimmicks
That makes us take every message/direction from the pulpit
Hook, line and sinker!
We ourselves have become unwise and “stupid” followers
How brainwashed we have become
How undiscerning we have become
How dead in our spirits we have become
Because we do not know the Bible for ourselves
Because we fail to realize
Our lives are not sold out to churches to do as they please
Our lives are to be led by Christ and not the Church
Church leading you and Christ leading you…
There’s a whole lot of difference!
The day you know…you will be liberated!

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Focus not on my sins 

A church that condemns but is not ready to offer help…check that church.

Sin, forgiveness and repentance go hand in hand. Don’t put your focus only on people’s sins…forgetting there’s enough room for the other two: forgiveness and repentance.

One big problem in the church is that sin often becomes public knowledge that attracts all the negatives like shame, abuse, discrimination, expulsion, etc., but repentance and God’s forgiveness is personal. A person may sin and repent in their closet but the church will never believe they have and so continue to shame and judge them.

But somehow God himself seems to value repentance (I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance – Luke 15:7) possibly more than sin and does not abhor sinners or send them away. In Roman’s 4:7, He even called “blessed” those who have repented (whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered).

There are some sins that leave with people immediate lasting evidences but there are some that do not show so nobody sees them. Funny enough, people sin on the daily but because there is no outward evidence, they are held righteous in the eye of the church. What makes one more righteous than another?

Yes, she fornicated and no longer a virgin or probably even pregnant…how do you tell she’s not asked for God’s forgiveness and probably repented?

Yes, he stole and got caught…how do you tell he’s not asked for God’s forgiveness and probably repented?

Subject every sin that comes to mind to the above line of thought and see the answers you will get.

I don’t know the answers but I pray God helps us so that whenever we see people’s sins, our focus does not end there.

The conclusion of the matter is that, we can never do good on our own. Let him that thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Cor 10:12). It is only God that does the good works in us (a note to all self-righteous folks). Only He worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Our focus should only be on continuously working out our salvation [and imperfect lifestyles] with fear and trembling. Even with that, we’ll realize it’s not by might, for by strength shall no man prevail. Init? 😊

Or isn’t it the Bible that said God himself didn’t count people’s sins against them but offered a message of love and reconciliation?
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation”. ~2 Cor 5:19

Offer help church, and not just condemnation!

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Marriage & Personal Development Author

On women proposing to men…

On a woman proposing to a man, a guy said:

“I don’t have a problem with that at all. In fact, I will say yes to any lady that will propose to me but she should make sure that right after that, she comes to see my parents and collect the marriage items (dowry) and marry me and not the other way round”.

Guys will always be guys huh? 😂