A new woman

I was a distant admirer

My eyes liking what they saw

The beautiful personality of a simple lady

So simple in all respects

Circumspect in choice of friends

Godly in character and dressing

Her chasteness so alluringly satisfying to me

I wished I could get closer

To experience her Godly ambience

But these now are mere ruminations of the past

For a new woman now I see

A totally changed personality

Running down an ungodly road

The road of conscious self exposure

A new love found in garments so scanty and revealing

My eyes lost all admirations

Having suffered a thousand “negative externalities”

From her now ungodly self exhibitions

Casting off her “breastplate of righteousness”

And parading her nakedness

To the displeasure of God and Godly men

But the pleasure of worldly men

To some, a shame to womanhood

To others, a good display of woman empowerment

I wondered what went wrong

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

 

Image source:
dailybiblememe.com

 

 

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A LETTER TO MY UNBORN SON

Dear Son,
I know by the time you will be reading this letter on your hologram phone you will be laughing at Facebook and wondering why your grandfather’s son chose this slow medium .
For your information this is amongst the fastest messaging technologies of my time. The hologram phone is still at the conceptual stage .

I believe however that by the time you will be here it would become a reality. After all, I remember growing up when there were no emails, internet, Facebook, et al. We used to buy airmails and write to “pen pals” abroad. We waited for weeks to get our responses or in some cases RETURNED LETTERS due to one or two spelling mistakes in the addresses .
We had a full session dedicated at our morning assemblies in school to the sharing of mails received.

The heroes were those who received fat mails regularly.
The content of these mails were usually Bibles, magazines, tracts and audio cassettes. Hmmm, many youth today do not even know how an audio cassette looks like let alone how to use it. I still have a few and I would keep them for you to have a look.
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I remember how we zealously and jealously guard our address books to prevent others from copying from them. In some cases we mischievously alter the numbers in the addresses so that those who secretly copy them would receive RETURNED LETTERS.
Son, those were very interesting times but I know you would find it boring. Anyway, my main reason for writing this letter to you is not to talk about my childhood days. I would dedicate another letter to that later.
I want you to be careful about the kind of women you let into your life. Do not be distracted by physical beauty. I am certain cosmetic surgery would have reached insane levels at your time cos even now men are able to undergo sex change surgery to become women. One of the essential questions you would have to ask a ‘woman’ you like in your era should be: “Were you born a woman?’
After you have established the baseline that she is really a she, please look beyond her looks.Get a good woman just like your mom. If I want to describe her now this letter would be too long so I would do so in another letter. Having a pretty looking woman is good, after all, your mom is pretty but it should not be the basis of your choice.
Fred Amese
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Temptations…

A holy character does not stop one from being tempted. Neither does seclusion nor the utmost consecration of spirit.

Remember our Lord Jesus Christ, most Holy and full of the Holy Spirit was tempted even while in the wilderness?

Temptation does not respect many things; it will always knock on your door. And you can’t only choose to pray it away…you must resist also. That means work on your part; not the tempter’s part. Marriage does not ward off temptation either; marriages face their own dose of temptations. Your actions will determine whether or not the temptation will lurk in the darkness to continually afflict you. With every form of temptation, you’ve got to make a choice. According to the wisdom of Martin Luther:

“You can’t prevent the birds of the air from flying over your head, but you don’t need to let them build a nest in your hair”.

That means you may not be able to prevent temptations from coming your way, but you have a choice to make.

For married people, one Dr. Beverly Yahnke, a Christian psychologist admonishes that we:

“make the tough decision to honour your spouse even if it means you won’t ever know what a relationship with someone else would have been like”.

Perhaps the grass on the other side that looks so green, tempting and relishing to you is just artificial grass. Better still, if you would focus on your own grass and put in the work, and create favourable conditions for growth, sooner or later your own grass would be greener…and rather more tempting to others (but there too you will have a problem o. Haha).

Many times we make the mistake of thinking that what we can bear, our partner can also. We are all different and the very thing you take for granted because for you it can never lead you into temptation is what will lead your partner into it. Someone said he’s been away from his wife for 3 years and all the while didn’t cheat on her and doesn’t understand why the wife did. Well, maybe you could handle that length of distance; maybe she couldn’t (not justifying her action). But the posture of taking it for granted that absence easily predisposes her to temptation than you should not be encouraged. Maybe you don’t crave attention so don’t see the need to offer it…but maybe for your partner, that’s what feeds his/her love and without it can predispose him/her to temptations. Maybe you can do without sex for days; maybe your partner can’t and will fall without it. Maybe outings don’t mean anything to you; maybe it’s the prime need of your partner. Maybe public display of affection (PDA) means nothing to you; maybe that’s what makes your spouse feel super and as little or frivolous as you may think that need is, don’t do it and you put him/her at risk of nursing feelings for someone who does. Maybe you think building heart-to-heart friendship with your spouse is a waste of time and that women are just too annoyingly emotional; maybe they will soon fall for someone who tries to bond with them at that emotional heart-t0-heart level. Don’t take things for granted.

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May God grant grace that we do not create unfavourable conditions in our marriages/relationships that easily predisposes our partners to give in to all manner of temptations. May we find grace to create suitable environments in our marriages that our partners will not be drawn to nursing thoughts of looking elsewhere to have their needs met…but can look to us and have their every need met.

So get to work and watch those prime needs now…don’t leave them unmet! It could be a need for attention, friendship, companionship, a lot more affection, cutting down the times apart, a lot more talking, a lot more kind words, a lot more playfulness or fun time together, a lot more sex, a lot more respect, a lot more empathy, a lot more creativity or spice, a lot more surprises,….a lot more of everything! If you have to, readjust your plans or life goals to create the much needed balance all marriages need.

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God help us!

Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

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Image sources:
http://revivenations.org/blog/
unveiledwife.com

 

She’s too young for you…

Maybe she’s too young for you…if she can’t make any critical decisions like:

  • Whether she will marry you now or tomorrow
  • Whether she wants to have two kids or one
  • Whether she wants to be a career woman or just a housewife
  • Whether she wants to live in the village or town
  • Whether she will use part of her money to support the home or not
  • Whether she is old enough to make her decisions or stick to her parents’
  • Whether she must choose the man she wants to marry or her parents must
  • Whether to love you all the way or not

The list is so long…but the choice remains yours.

She can’t make the simplest of decisions?? Then maybe…

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With marriage comes a lot of very critical decisions to make. Decisions in marriage, no matter how small, are no child’s play. It’s no place for “too young” folks. Being “too young for you” is not necessarily about age…but the mental ability to decide what one wants out of life and in a marriage.

Indecision is a big killer in marriage. Marriages are planned and that means loads of decision making. It’s not an “anything goes” affair.

So whether he or she is too young for you is a question you can’t avoid to ponder. Lol.

Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

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Pray, then Decide and Act

There are some things that God will not come down from Heaven to solve for us, no matter how much we pray or cry foul about Him not changing our situations. He’s left those things in the freewill He gave man and until you sit down, evaluate, decide and act, nothing will change. The best He will do for you is to give you wisdom in knowing what and what not to do about the situation.

Bad things happen to good people. Terrible things happen to committed Christians…God allows it all. If you think you are a good Christian and so only good things should come your way, you will continue to have issues with God. It’s just natural order! And whether you give up on God or not will not change who God is or stop bad things from happening to good people. Pray all you can, but after praying you will still have to act! And the more you delay a decision that will free your life and give you the peace you need, the more weightier the burden gets.

The decisions we fail to make today, the changes we fail to make today, we will make tomorrow or years later. What you don’t deal with today, you will deal with tomorrow. That’s not to say make rash or irrational decisions but what’s true is that there is a connection between decision-making and destiny; though both are two different things. Poor decisions can affect your destiny big time…and you don’t blame God for it! Though He’s well able to change and re-orient destinies, you may have suffered some things for your bad decisions which may not change. Even after the situation changes, those scars will remain to remind you of your bad decisions or the decisions you refused to make.

When it comes to marriage too, God has stopped putting men to sleep and forming their partners from their ribs. There is a lot of freewill and decision-making involved in choosing a marriage partner. God will only be there to guide you to the right partner and to bless your union.

Sometimes I am tempted to believe that even when you choose a wrong partner and bring him/her to God to be solemnized in marriage, God will still “bless” that union. But as to whether things will work out well in the end between you two depends on you. That is how important choice and decision is! That’s why not everybody God brings your way that looks good and sexy that you should make a wife/husband out of. But when you do, He will still “bless” it anyways, I guess. The best He will do when you want to settle with the wrong person He doesn’t approve of is to bring into the relationship as many red flags as there are for you to see them and make the right decision. But again, sometimes that is even when we begin to get unhappy with God for bringing too many problems in our relationships and not making it to work according to our will.

Marriage decisions are very important; it can make or unmake a person’s destiny. And it is all the more important because God is not a fan of divorce. God is still in the marriage miracle business. He’s still in the match-making business. He’s still leading people to right partners and He’s still bringing right partners people’s way. But He’s not making decisions for them; He’s letting them make their own decisions! And whether you make the right decision or not, His promise of never forsaking you and being with you till the very end of the age (or that situation you committed yourself to) still holds.

May we find grace to make the right decisions always! And as we do, may we find grace to not lean on our own understanding but seek wholehearted guidance from God.

Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

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A chance we all take???

Many have been very careful in their choice of partners, yet those same carefully chosen partners became their downfall one way or the other. It still baffles! Still many others threw caution to the wind in their partner choice and through those partners became successful in life. Still baffles! So I’m tempted to say as usual that after all is said and done, “it’s a chance we all take…there are no guarantees because only God knows the future”.

But when God is in it…I believe the percentage of failure is minimal because He will always guide as long as we let Him. A man’s heart always leads him astray. Of course, many at times God has been involved but we still crushed but when you think back it’s almost always the case that someway somehow we did not completely “let go and let God”.

I understand it’s never easy to completely relegate our humanness to the background 100 percent…there’s always that interference. But I guess God is not looking for 100 percent cos that will be like denying our very existence and all the emotions and abilities God himself placed in us; He’s only looking to have the bigger percentage in that life choice and decision.

He just wants to be the biggest shareholder! And He wants to be the centre of every marriage because “except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1).

Now here is a good place that I will like to take a moment to ponder over this thought; you are welcome to do same:

“What guides my relationship/marriage? What defines it? Where does the biggest percentage go?”

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May He grant us Grace!

IS THY LOVE JUST A FEELING OR A CHOICE?

Many see love as merely a feeling; others as merely a choice.

Love merely as a FEELING can best be described as having no patience to wait; it must be satisfied with its objects instantly. It is more sensual and selfish and wrapped up in immediacy.

Love as a CHOICE rises above feelings and the present to the unseen and the future. Though seemingly above feelings, it is not necessarily opposed to it; it works through it and makes it subordinate to its influence and end. It is more sacrificial and works “in spite of”.

On the grounds of EASE and INDULGENCE and PRESENT INTEREST, love as a feeling takes upper hand over love as a choice; but it is however ephemeral or short-lived. Also when reason cannot comprehend and see things God’s way, it is love as merely a feeling that triumphs or rules.

However, when the soul or heart is fully convinced of the FAILURE and INSUFFICIENCY of mere sensuality in satisfying its requirements for the future rewards it seeks in a lasting relationship, love as merely a feeling fails.

Love as a CHOICE is a power that thrives in light but also has confidence in the dark. It works with all the evidences the case in hand (relationship) produces and tries to live in harmony with all circumstances, changing those it can and coping with those it cannot.

Feelings of the heart most often precede the choices it makes because the human heart is open and awaken to seeing and feeling things as they are before choices are made. However, love as a choice demonstrates its superiority in circumstances that baffle the sensuous reasoning of love as a feeling.

In spite of the above expositions however, the UNITY of the two phases (love as a feeling and as a choice) is essential in making all relationships strong and happy. When they are DIVIDED (operating separately), the happiness of a relationship is marred; and its strength of heart and character is sheared.

Rightly put, what you feel for someone is only about you but it is the things you chose to do for the one you love as a result of what you feel that counts.

Mark Gadogbe

First published on courageahiati.wordpress.com on November 3, 2014 as Guest Blogger.