A matchless love…

What manner of love can this be?

A love as strong as death,

A love as mighty as the Lion of the tribe of Judah,

A love that endureth the trials of a cross,

A love that endureth the torment of a shameful death,

A love that bears all iniquities,

A love that despises every shame,

A love that is glorified over all,

Surely it is my Beloved’s love,

Yes, my Beloved,

The incomparable lover of my soul,

Yes, my Beloved,

Who fans aflame His love in my heart,

And excites the ardour of my spirit,

Never such love like my Beloved’s,

That excites emotions within,

And turns my weaknesses into strengths,

Never such love like my Beloved’s,

In whose light I discover my ungratefulness,

And in whose touch I am made anew.

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Image source:
www.logomoose.com

True love: how do I make the choice?

The biblical recommendation that we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength shows us that for love to be complete, genuine, real… and for love to thrive between two beings, we must have a connection in all those dimensions.

We must not only have emotional (heart) connection with someone to know it is love and that it is true…but we must also have spiritual (soul) connection, intellectual (mind) connection and physical or bodily (strength) connection.

I think those are the complete dimensions of love we must watch and exercise…and also ensure that they are all present and that there’s a good balance and interplay.

Many times when people are confused about their choice of love or lover, they are often instructed to “follow your heart” or by extension, to focus on your emotions. Though the heart is important and should be at the core of every decision, we must not always only follow our heart; we must follow as well the other three “determinants of love”. The heart is desperately wicked and deceptive says the Bible. Hearts do deceive, even more so because what’s in the heart is not always seen on the face.

People also advice when it comes to finding true love that you “use your heart and your head“, in trying to say don’t love blindly. Meaning whatever your heart tells you, give it good thought before acting. Don’t just act on your feelings, do some critical thinking as well. This is great but must we leave out the spirit?

Choosing a life partner or entering into a love relationship is as much a spiritual exercise as it is a physical one. It’s a matter of your soul.

Remember we are not to be unequally yoked per biblical instructions? How do we do that when we don’t wait to determine first if there’s a spiritual connection between us and the ones we are going to give our heart, emotions and body to? Would you want to blindly (without careful considerations) fall in love with someone who will sell your soul to the devil and lead you down the path of ungodliness? Your decision to love someone (choose them as a life partner) is not complete without you weighing in on your spiritual connection or compatibility with the person.

Physical attraction, the fourth dimension or determinant of love is also a good ingredient. I know some over-spiritual brothers and sisters always downplay this…and then find themselves hooked to some unattractive guy/lady only to keep fighting for the rest of their lives some temptations coming their way from some very fine babes/dudes.

You see, I believe that somebody you are not physically attracted to, you cannot be sexually attracted to. Unless you are one of those not so normal people who would sleep with just anything that bears the name female or male.

The sexual lives of countless of marriages are in red zone just because either one of the couples have gone out of shape or more bluntly have become ‘unattractive”. He saw many ‘fat’ women but decided on a person of your figure because that is where the attraction was and so when you let yourself go too much and you become too ‘fat’, you know what might happen? Similarly, he saw many slim ladies but his attraction never was tickled until he saw the big fat you and so when you overdo that slimming course and become as thin as a stick, you might just be making yourself an attraction for another man who has got that taste, not him.

Body image means a lot to many people when it comes to love and you must always have that open discussion so that you know you can always have his or her support and love when those times come that you need some motivation to get back into shape.

That thing we say sometimes that you must love me just the way I am so that you can just let yourself go from say slim to obese after choking down all the junk foods in the world may just not work out for you sometimes. Perhaps s/he will still love you alright, but you may just not be sexually attractive enough for him/her again as you used to…and sometimes you just have to live with that or get back to work!

So there you have it. If we agree that love is not just a feeling but much more a choice, then we must be holistic in the choices we make. We must not be only feelings driven; we must exercise all the four dimensions in determining true, genuine, complete, compatible love that lasts…I think.

Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

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THE CHOSEN

From many I chose you

‘Cos you were the most favourable amongst them

Your lovely character seduced me

And played tricks on my emotions

A part of me gets excited at thy graceful sight

An excitement that heightens

With every lovely thought of you

You are so amazing a figure

A blessing amongst all the Lord’s carvings

So beautiful a living monument

So sweet a manifestation

Of God’s gift of love to me

My heart craves strongly for thy love

And breaks whenever thy love

So rich and true

Is far from reach

Inside my emotions are stacked up

Like full old wineskins ready to burst

I have been looking for so long

And I bless the day I found you

‘Cos you brought light to my spirit

Oh how the light of my soul shone the brightest

The day you accepted as true, promising and trustworthy

Those carefully chosen and well rehearsed sugar-coated words

In your eyes I find the radiance of true love

Your lips are so blessed with soothing words

That puts my agitated spirit to a sweet sound rest

That reassures my soul of a hope

And a future not too far away

A life together and forever

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

(PS: A poem to mark the celebration of our marriage proposal anniversary today)

Marital Emotional Wars

“Men by nature are less emotional than women”

The above is true and most women admit it; at least conceptually.

In practice however, many a man craves his woman really really knows, understands and appreciates how hard he tries to meet her very diverse and unpredictable emotional needs. A woman’s display of emotions sometimes confuses many a man; many times he is lost at sea about what exactly she is trying to communicate. Women are such an emotional tank and I’m sure they don’t sometimes understand themselves and the many different emotions she experiences on a daily basis.

But is it only men who try hardest to meet their partner’s emotional needs or get confused trying to understand a partner’s emotional expressions and relate accordingly? Not so much. On a daily basis, every partner wants the other to get more in touch with his/her emotions…kind of like how their emotions synchronize during sex? The problem is that in many cases, emotions just don’t seem to synchronize that much outside the bedroom. Maybe because couples are just more focused on each other in the bedroom than they do outside the bedroom? Haha!

Emotional differences are such a huge thing though, and on an almost daily basis, men and women fight so many emotional wars in marriage. What happens at the emotional level is very important in every relationship/marriage and that is why the most important thing about any quality time a couple will spend together and that is worth remembering is not the length of time spent itself but whether or not there was an emotional connectivity.

Emotional battles never end in marriage and I do not know yet if couples ever achieve a permanent  “emotional compatibility” status but I think “emotionally intelligent” marriages stay stronger, healthier, happier and maybe longer.

Emotional intelligence? Hmmm, not an easy skill to master…but every relationship/marriage sure needs it! And I can bet, when all is said and done, that one of the joys of relationship/marriage is the privilege of a man and woman, different as they are working through their different emotions and still bonding as a unit.

We can never pray our emotions away. They are a beautiful part of our nature. So like Barbara Rainey said, “we are made in the emotional image of God, so we shouldn’t be afraid of those feelings when they crop up”. Marriage is beautiful…so relax and enjoy the emotional wars! At least it’s not so bloody!

And I think you will need this… just in case:

m1

Cheers!

Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

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!