Birthday Musings…🎊 

Somehow, the night before every birthday of mine as it has been for a long time now, I am unable to get a good night sleep. And it’s been a blessing somehow because right about midnight I begin to pray silently and thank God for my life and ask for divine blessings to last another year or a lifetime. I do a bit of reflection on my life and many times I shed a few “happy tears” when it dawns on me (and it always does), that had it not been God always on my side, ……. Because when I remember the “stories of my birth” as Mum of blessed memory used to say to me, I know I wouldn’t have been alive to be celebrating birthdays. 

OK. So I’m “29 on 29”. That means I’m 29 years on 29th of my birth month. Funny as it is, somehow that felt special for me because it will not come again! And although I’m not a fan of birthdays like the way people always “mean” their birthdays such that they can even die should that day never come, I couldn’t help but post this thoughts…especially when I couldn’t even get any sleep. Neither I’m I a fan of revealing my “very young age” but “how for do now”? 

But I can’t believe I’m growing yet still not hitting 30! Somehow I’ve a weird perception that once you hit 30, you hit the “Boss Age” phase of your life. Lol. I know it can be funny and I don’t even know where in the world I got that idea from. It’s as weird as the fact that yesterday evening when I got back from work, I was fooling with my wife at every twist and turn with the retort “hey you, have you been 30 before?” to which she will respond “but you kora, are you 30?” 😂 😂 

Well, thing is at 30 and upwards, I feel you must start living like a Boss! Beginning from 30, you must begin to feel a deep sense of maturity and responsibility in a way you have never felt before. That’s not to demean or discredit the twenties and teen years. We so love being in the twenties and feeling so young and with so much energy and zest for life and wanting to experience everything. But at 30 and beyond you can’t afford to not feel the sense of urgency and maturity to begin to order your steps aright in much better ways than you did in your twenties or earlier years. 

It’s so exciting to watch oneself grow from the little toddlers we were in what seems like just few years ago and becoming very responsible adults with a serious sense of duty and outlook on life.

 As we grow, we begin to see life differently, in a whole new dimension and you begin to attach a new meaning to life. You begin to experience more of life and that shapes you better. That’s why no matter how exciting my twenties have been and with so many fond memories, I can’t wait to leave that age bracket. And I have quite a long time to wait; a whole year before I embrace my thirties, my “Boss Age” period. 

I have so much to be grateful to God for, so much I have achieved in this young life, so much I am proud of and not regretted. 

I’ve seen pain, I’ve seen sorrow; I’ve known hardship, I’ve known want. I’ve fought hard many times to stay strong and silenced the urge to quit in the face of adversity and great loss. I’ve spent myself on others and watched them in silence break my heart and act ungrateful; I’ve watched loved ones turn their back on me. I’ve experienced rejection first hand and from quarters I least expected; I’ve had people make me feel no longer accepted and worthless and I’ve also had people standing by and with me, seeing my mess sometimes and overlooking it. I’ve witnessed a broken and shattered family and God’s transforming power; I’ve seen God work miracles when we give Him the wheels and let things work out on their own. I’ve had a good mother and good home training and have been brought up to embrace and live with every situation, making the best out of every situation and circumstance for life does not always give us what we want, need, deserve or even work for. 

But I’ve also seen a lot of good in life to make me want to still live on till my dying years (whenever that is, with no regrets). As I live out the rest of my twenties, I do not know what life holds for me but I do know every experience will define who I am or turn out to be (for good or for bad, only God knows…but I will strive to choose good). And I do know, they that are meant to stay in my life will, and we will enjoy the journey together, in gratitude for all that life has to offer us. 

To all the amazing people I have encountered on this journey, I am eternally grateful!
©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Don’t wait until marriage… 

​A man doesn’t have to wait until he marries before taking on the role of spiritual headship of his love relationship. 

It is easier to lead the woman you plan on marrying in the right spiritual direction and get her to respect your spiritual headship when she sees that in you or see you exercising that role way before the marriage covenant is even entered into. And it may be more easier to sustain it way into marriage when you’ve cultivated it early in the relationship.

Yes, be romantic towards her; but be all the more spiritual towards her. 

Women need leading; if you fail to lead her, she will lead you. Just don’t resent it when she eventually takes over your roles and you begin to feel (spiritually) irrelevant. 

Many men are in serious love relationships but don’t command prayer times together for the relationship, they don’t command fastings, they don’t command Bible study and devotions; they don’t even pray themselves for the relationship! Yet, they want the best out of the relationship, they want everything to just go smoothly, they want spiritual and character compatibility or synchronization? 

Well…maybe things do fall in place effortlessly for some people.
©Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

Unethical Prophets and “Men of God”

There’s so much ethical crisis in the Church (leadership) today, from mishandling and dishonesty with church finances to living extravagant lifestyles at expense of poor church members’ offerings, proud, arrogant and immoral lifestyles, showing no concern for views and trials of church members, increasing interest in cheap fame/popularity and misusing God’s anointing, among others.

When it comes to spiritual things or callings, some people believe they are a law unto themselves and don’t need being regulated. They decide what they want to do as long as they can hide behind the idea that it is a spiritual direction from God…or wherever they get their direction from. They give no regards to normal ethics even in its simplest forms. It appears lately there are no ethics to spiritual callings and the “office of Prophets” especially appears the most unethical. We see too many unethical Prophets and “men of God” these days that an increasing number of people no longer appreciate prophecy or believe in it. And many times one will wonder if they ever learn or are taught anything like ministerial ethics.

What I personally don’t fathom sometimes is how we often see in our churches many unethical Prophets and “men of God” who put people’s personal issues out to the congregation during “deliverance services” claiming they have received one revelation or the other from God about the person. I’ve got no problems with deliverance services or revelations, but I do feel sometimes that the fact that God reveals something to you during your ministration about somebody’s situation shouldn’t give you the right or permission to put it out there just like that without even weighing in on the impact that could yield later. If the revelation is about the person, I believe there is a good way to tell the person without screaming in the microphone about it to the entire congregation!

There are a lot of very sensitive issues that come out mostly in churches and in the aftermath of the “revelations”, peoples’ lives are left worse off…mostly because of the victimization and ill attitude they encounter later from church folks.

I’m tempted to believe in Bible days when God gives his Prophets a revelation about or a message for somebody, the message is for the person’s hearing alone, whether it is a good or bad message? The fact that it is a congregational service doesn’t mean when you call someone forward and a message comes to you about the person you blurt it out there in the microphone, whether it be a good or bad message?

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People are told “I see you getting married before the year ends” to resounding cheers and then the year ends and nothing happens and church folks begin to jeer, gossip and do all sort of things. And many times the Prophets are “always right” to many Christians so when the things they declare on people don’t see the light of day, then they blame is on the person who apparently must have gone to commit some sin or not prayed on the prophecy or not acted in ways to bring the prophecy into being so they suffer for it in the sight of other members.

People are told “I see God calling you to be this and that” and some people just forcefully align their destinies with what the Prophet has said and of course the expectations of Church folks to function as such and so end up struggling to function in callings that as it may God himself has not destined for them. Then there are others who after fasting and praying themselves on the Prophet’s “authentic declaration” and being convinced the calling is not for them and so make no effort to “become what the Prophet said” are looked at some way by Church folks; the courageous ones questioning them why they have “refused” to become what Prophet said they will become.

I remember a true story a friend of mine shared with me. She narrated how her church once hosted a Prophet who during his ministration called forward a lady chorister and told the whole congregation “what God has revealed to him” about the lady. And his revelation was that the said lady is a fornicator and has an unholy relationship with her boyfriend who promised marrying her but has been abusing her yet for the love she has for him she is still with him. According to her the whole church was thrown into a state of murmurings, including her fellow choristers; and the lady couldn’t bear the public shame that God apparently was putting her through and broke down crying. According to my friend she herself felt so embarrassed and couldn’t imagine being in the lady’s shoes and all that might be going through her mind. Apparently in her words, the lady is one of the choristers who sing as if heaven has engulfed the church so it was a good day for the church folks who were screaming “eeii” “eeii” to the revelation. She wondered whether the Prophet couldn’t have handled the revelation meant for the lady in a much better way or he was too much under the “anointing” that ethics didn’t matter. Weeks later she told me she hasn’t been seeing the lady singing with her fellow choristers again and she suspects she might have stopped coming to church.

Then there was another lady called forward of whom the prophet said her mother is a witch and the reason for all her many misfortunes and she wondered what use is that sensitive information that can wreck a family to her my friend as a congregant to know. She asked me rhetorically, couldn’t they the congregation have still prayed for the said lady without that information being blurted out? Then she said if it were the lady she would just have stopped the church because she can’t imagine all the eyes that will be looking at her every Sunday and perhaps screaming in their heads “here comes the daughter of a witch”. “Even if my own mother is a witch and I even know it myself, there’s no way I am going to announce it to a whole church so why should God be interested in doing that?”, she expressed in worry.

And the examples go on and on and all over in almost every “spiritual” church. Not everybody is comfortable with every detail about them, whether good or bad, thrown out to public domain all in the name of prophesy? What code of ethics do ministers of God work with anyways?

Many men of God are doing so many unethical and humiliating things to people in the Church all in the name of the practice of spiritual callings. I’m not a Prophet to understand why and maybe I’m not “spiritual” so cannot discern spiritual things with my carnal mind but I sure do not think God’s intention for the prophetic and pastoral calling is how we see it being practiced.

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As for some of the Prophets and “men of God” who apparently God reveals football match and election results to so that we know and do what about, and whose only motive is to pride themselves with public declarations or “prophecies” about the death of people and not to save them, the least said about them the better. For now all I can say is, if of all the things happening in the world the only ones God cares about to inform us to just know for knowing sake are football and election results, then “I can’t think far” as Ghanaians have coined. And who knows, maybe mere prediction and soothsaying (perhaps under the influence of having eaten too much) is the same thing as prophesying under the unction of the Holy Spirit; or maybe we as Christians are just too gullible.

Well, the thing with opinions…maybe I’m getting it all wrong but whatever it is, God help his people!

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author

 

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Marital rape and abuse?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Officer: “Ok – so tell me more.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Officer: “How did he coerce you?”

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

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

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

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

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

Officer: “What things did he do?”

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

Officer: “Then what happened?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Divorce

FACT: Years of research has shown majority of divorces are initiated by women.

REASON: Because women are just never satisfied in marriage because of their many unrealistic unmet expectations…or men are just unrepentant heart breakers??

Well, I don’t know…maybe you do?

 

…not always the right thing

Sometimes what is comfortable and natural is not always the right thing. Many of us are immersed in unhealthy patterns in all kinds of areas of our lives. We spend too much time on the internet. We yell too much at our kids. We get up too late and are always in a hurry. We have no organization in our lives and always feel a little discombobulated. We’re doing what comes naturally and feels comfortable, but it’s actually hurting us. And we can be like that in our marriages, too. We stop talking about matters of the heart and only talk logistics: who is going to the grocery store, who is going to help mom this weekend. We criticize when we should keep our mouth shut; we retreat to our own hobbies instead of spending time together.

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Marriage Rut…

“It is rare to find a couple as madly in love with each other as they were when they were dating. Most marriages have fallen into a routine; a boring, lifeless and discouraging routine. If you have kids, then it seems to be even harder to find time to connect with your spouse”

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