Wives carry and transmit favour

There is a lot of God’s favour on a woman’s life that rubs on and doubles a man’s favour when married to her. It’s a kind of favour that elevates; that makes a man rise; that pushes him to the apex!

 

The saying “behind every successful man is a woman” is just another way of putting the “he who finds a wife finds favour from the Lord…” biblical promise.

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Every time I look back on how far we’ve come…I confidently say to myself “I have the best wife ever”. I truly am blessed with her.

 

And surely the blessing is not because of WHAT (material things) I have in my life but WHO I have. Her personality is astonishing! And her beauty? Breathtaking!

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…And we really have come a long way on the road less travelled by many for fear of many unknowns. The “unknowns” have daily been with us, but we’ve learned to conquer many; riding at the back of the One who holds it all together so beautifully.

 

So today, halfway through another anniversary, we say…cheers to many more unknowns to conquer!

Nothing can stop us…We “all the way up”!  🙂

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

 

 

Love making…

Again, here’s something interesting I want to share from the marriage devotional I’m currently subscribed to that I mentioned in my earlier post God, Sex and Marriage.
Here it goes…
What Kind Of Love Are You Making?
No, God didn’t make a mistake! Imagine that you and your spouse lived in sexual utopia. You always want to have sex at exactly the same time and the same way. Every initiation is met with an eager response. There is never any conflict about foreplay, being too tired, giving each other pleasure or trying something new in bed because your desires are always exactly the same.  How fantastic would that be? It would be almost like the sex portrayed in movies–what a great love life!
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God, the creative Creator certainly could have made sex that way. He could have created man and woman to be exactly the same sexually. But He didn’t. In fact, He intentionally made us vastly different.
Did God make a mistake? Did He “mess up” the master design of sex by making a husband and wife so diverse? Does He sit up in heaven and laugh that we can’t seem to please each other?
Remember that even before sin entered the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had primary sexual differences in the way God created them. God declared His creation of man and woman “very good” and this very good included your sexual differences.
God’s design for sex is NOT just for immediate exquisite pleasure (although He is all for that). But God has a much more beautiful gift of intimacy for you and your spouse to open than what the world says sex is about. Here’s the catch. It requires a different kind of love.
Sex is designed to be more than an expression of love between a husband and wife. It is also the refining fire of love. It tests and teaches a willing man and woman to reach beyond their natural desires and learn what servant love really is.
The world knows only of a love that feels good. We are born with the natural response to “love” those who meet our physical and emotional needs. This kind of natural love is essentially self-love. It really says, “I love the way you make me feel.”
The differences between you and your spouse will ultimately ask you a question: am I a servant lover or a selfish lover? God is very concerned about what kind of love you are making!
Action Step: Ask your spouse, with an open heart, how can I be a servant lover to you?
Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did? Share your thoughts with me in the comment box. Cheers! 
Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017
Marriage & Personal Development Author
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Good hearts

God created some of us with a heart for others.

Yet it’s been trampled on many times.

And a million times we wanted to give up on people.

Yet He keeps whispering…

“Son, do not give up; I’ll be the strength you need”

Again and again He will say

“Just hang in a little, soon you will know why I needed you not to”

It can be difficult at times not to give up

When people take advantage of your good heart

But if the Master requires we don’t

His will we must obey

Maybe there’s a lesson in there for us

How He never gives up on us

For the many times His love for granted we took

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

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image source: Dreamstime.com

 

 

THE BEAUTY IN A WIFE

Everyone has beauty but not everyone sees it

But the beauty of a good wife speaks and shows for itself

A timeless beauty that is reflected in her soul

One that grows exponentially with each passing day

One that is evident in the passion she glamorously exhibits

And the unadulterated love she offers

Her heart is a fountain of unceasing love and forgiveness

Nothing measures up to the depth of warmth

And the fondness felt in the embrace of a good wife

In her embrace her spouse feels a sense of peace and security

In her embrace her spouse feels never alone

And never forgotten

In a world that can be so cruel

For your many beautiful acts of love

I say thank you, my love, my wife, my beautiful

On this International Women’s Day

For thou oh Julia art a woman worth celebrating everyday

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

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Spousal criticism…

Everybody has their own ideas about love and how to show it in their relationships. These are things people have naturally grown up with and thus, a man who perhaps gets home late everyday bearing flowers or gifts has grown wired to the idea as the way love must be shown. So is another man who chooses to get home early so he can spend time with his wife, yet never going home with any gift. What should be more important however is not how you think love should be shown to your partner/spouse but rather learning and focusing on how the other person needs and wants to be loved. Most often it gets communicated but we often are not alert or really listening so unable to see or hear it.

Criticism in marriage has often carried an overly bad image but not all spousal criticisms are aimed at undermining or belittling a spouse or targeted at destroying their self-esteem. Many times, some are simply small pleads for love…in the way the other person wants or desires to be loved. They are like guidelines trying to show a spouse how to do things in a way the other person likes. Not all of them are unnecessary complaints but rather genuine expressions of concern over how things should play out. At least that’s how it often starts, until when the plea goes unheeded too many times, and then it begins to graduate into something unpleasant.

I like the way T.D. Jakes puts it in the lyrics of one of his songs:

“If you want to love me the way I need to be loved, you need to learn to love me from MY side”

See? Not from YOUR side but MY side…what means and communicates love to ME. I’m sure as both partners develop a mentality of focusing rather on the other person, both will have their love needs met better than trying to show love just how you understand it and risk being criticized for it. Then also, there won’t be room for too many “unnecessary” criticisms or if you like, too many pleas or outcries for love that become unpleasant in the ears because of it being heard too many times.

Most people express love to another based on their understanding of what means love to them and as long as God has created us different, male and female, we are sure to hold different views of love and the exercising thereof. And we are sure to have misunderstandings even over our partner’s acts of love just because that’s not how we would love to be loved. We just can’t relate to their way of love; we want what we can relate to.

The way we want to be loved is usually the way we express love to others. It takes time to learn how to love someone exactly the way they want and not just how we feel love is to be shown. That requires a lot of patience and attention to detail and a great deal of communication on what works and what doesn’t work for each other. Otherwise, we will always battle with the issue of many unpleasant criticisms because we would not yet know what works and what doesn’t, and we will keep not being able to satisfy their needs.

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“So you brought home your sheets and God knows you meant well. [But] You just can’t figure out, how did things still fail? Well, in the art of relationships, communication is the key. You both have different needs so understanding is a ministry. This time, start talking before you start giving so that you can see how much better a marriage is supposed to be”
–T.D. Jakes

T.D. Jakes again rightly captures it so well. And that’s a good foundation we must lay if we want to eliminate the unnecessary criticisms and experience ultimate joy and peace in our relationships and marriages.

Imagine the man who thinks bringing home gifts or flowers each day to the wife is what communicates love yet the wife receives it each day with smiles on her face but unfulfilled in her heart because deep down she wishes her husband knew what would have meant more to her than the flowers is he coming home early to share a lot more quality time with her. Over time, one wouldn’t need a magician to tell this could degenerate into something bigger and unmanageable when her constant pleas (imagine communicated) go unnoticed, misunderstood or taken for granted.

“We are trying hard, but we simply don’t know some of the things that matter most to our mate. We don’t “get” some of their deepest needs. We honestly don’t recognize their hidden vulnerabilities, fears and insecurities. So we are trying hard in the wrong areas. Or worse, we hurt them without intending to. So we get upset and demoralized that she doesn’t appreciate everything I do for her. Or he doesn’t care about me. We respond defensively, or out of our hurt – and the whole thing spirals down”
– Shaunti Feldhahn

So here’s the key. What works for you may not work for your spouse/partner, so begin to watch your partner closely to understand even what they are not verbally communicating but could mean so much to them. Those many complaints or grumbling expressions that worry you so much could merely be communicating a plea for love in a way you have closed your eyes on.

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

Sacrificing Dreams: A Common Reality in Marriage

Sometimes when people sacrifice their dreams for the sake of their partners, they are not really being stupid as some may think them to be. They just found out some things are more important than others, and some worth letting go temporarily or even permanently. There’s no guarantee though, that in the end, they will look back and say their sacrifice was worth it or that they were foolish not to have pursued their dreams.

“Whatever the end will be, it’s not promised…it’s just a chance we all take, hoping for the best, hoping our sacrifices are not taken for granted or end up being in vain”

However, I think when you find someone to share your life with, you realize much more happiness compared to whatever career accomplishment brings when you have no special someone (or family) to share it with. It sure gets lonely at the top having achieved everything, at the expense of love or family.

There are some things that career women especially do not understand. Of course they don’t want anybody to belittle them when they choose career over love or family because gone are the days when a graduate degree was enough to plunge a woman into an early successful career. Today, post-graduate degrees are even no longer a woman’s minimum and though she would settle and start a family, the family aspect must be on hold until she reaches the very peak of her career. Yes, to her, marriage/family must not break the chain because these (career/professional qualifications and aspirations) are no longer things to do after marriage but must come first. Everything else can wait.

That’s good. Yet again, many women (including men) walked this path and in the end became quite desperate and sometimes loneliest of beings. Yes everybody must reach their peak in their career if they can and so desire it, but sometimes I do wish we don’t always choose career over love or family. When you have the opportunity, pursue both if you can; but always strike a balance. Why? Maybe it’s just because I’ve realized many times career never really truly satisfies and leaves us wanting more and more success? Maybe because with career there will always be the next big thing? Plus, it always makes us push love and family every time down the priority list?

In explaining why maintaining a good balance is very important, someone said:

“You might get the perfect job, but if you lose your spouse, that job may not look so perfect in the long run”

The benefits of career accomplishment may never make up for the emotional wreckage. Plus, God always remembers to reward that which was done for others or for the good of all; and not that which must benefit us only.

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Many established successful people have indicated that even though it’s always a constant battle between career and family, they will always choose or value family more.

“Why marriage or family will be more important to people than career I believe is because it provides a kind of intimacy, fulfillment and personal attachment that nothing else is able to offer”

William James was quoted in Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” as saying “Many men who wouldn’t dream of speaking sharply to a customer, or even to their partners in business, think nothing of barking at their wives. Yet, for their personal happiness, marriage is far more important to them, far more vital, than business. In the same book, Turgenev, the great Russian novelist, who was acclaimed all over the civilized world was quoted as once saying: “I would give up all my genius, and all my books, if there were only some woman, somewhere, who cared whether or not I came home late for dinner

I’m also reminded of a recent discussion with a friend about opportunities and interests. He made a point we both agreed on that, just as some opportunities come but once, so do our interests and desires in and for certain things quickly change with time. As such, one moment you may have a strong interest in something and then the next moment that desire just dies down and is replaced with something else.

He tried to substantiate the point with a story of a guy and a lady who have been dating for quiet some years. Along the line the guy was interested in settling down and starting a family but anytime he brings up the topic of marriage, the lady will say she is not ready because of a tall list of career accomplishments she has to pursue first; as such marriage will stand in her way. Over time, the guy stopped raising the issue of marriage and found something to invest his time and the monies he was apparently saving for marriage in and that now occupied his interest. After some years, the lady (though not having achieved all her list of career dreams or accomplishments) now brings up the topic of marriage and her readiness of starting a family; an interest that has eventually fallen low on the guy’s priority list. And as it is, they are still dating but the interest in marriage and starting a family is now being built slowly. Sad? Maybe.

In today’s world, not every woman lets go of her dreams easily to share in the dreams of a man and build a life together. So let all men respect the women who make sacrifices every day just to stay in their lives.

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That’s not to say only women make sacrifices for men; both men and women make career sacrifices in the interest of the other. Marriage is often about sacrifices and compromise, as such, most marriages are presented with such situations. What is important I believe is that couples must try not to let dreams that was very dear to their spouses but had to be sacrificed at some point die completely. Later in life when conditions become favourable to enable the resurrection and pursuit of such dreams, couples must encourage and support each other to achieve those dreams. Dreams postponed only die completely when one’s partner isn’t supportive or when we give up all hopes of making our dreams come through ourselves.

Every partner must thus consciously note every dream that his/her spouse had to sacrifice in the course of their lives together and later (when conditions will allow it) keep reminding and encouraging them to pursue it.

Regardless however, I believe whatever trade-offs we make, we must be ready to accept and live with our choices as we hope for the best out of our marriages.

God help us!

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

The soul mate race…

No matter how many times you fail in life or in a competition the rules will never change for you…it remains the same. Same applies to relationships and the race to winning a soul mate and life companion. It wouldn’t matter how many heartbreaks or disappointments you experienced in your search, the rules and people will not change for you…you still got to try over and over again. The work lies with you, not with them. You can sit and lament all you want, blame a million people if you like…but that will not change your status. If you still want it, then you got to go for it again and again…the Philippians 3:13 style (forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead).

 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

 

Marriage on a mission

Is your marriage on a mission? Ours is! We believe God has a mission for every marriage. He has a mental picture of how He wants every marriage to turn out.

Part of our marriage mission is:

“Our God wants from us a compellingly attractive marriage that turns people’s head and makes them want to know how much more beautiful God’s love for mankind is”

A lot of people have criticized us many times on how our open or public demonstration of love makes them uncomfortable and how immature it makes us. However, as often as we can, we try to remind ourselves of that ultimate call on our marriage so we can exert ourselves the best ways we can in accomplishing that calling or mission. And we evaluate our marriage and relationship often in light of that so we identify areas where more works needs to be done. At least when God was putting us together He didn’t say we were too immature so we’ve learned to ward off a lot of criticism.

Got a marriage/relationship mission you commit to? Or you are just living through the motion?

A great marriage requires a lifetime’s worth of dedicated work and having a marriage mission is like a shared goal that builds teamwork and the bonds of the marriage thereof.

We believe that in God’s mind, marriage is a tool for evangelism because the love we demonstrate in marriage reflects God’s love for all humankind. How we treat our spouses must reflect or mirror God; our love for our spouses must show in ways that make people around us take notice. John 13:35 says “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another”.

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I once wrote a post where I advocated that we celebrate openly our marital blessings because it is through doing that people can see what the glory of God in marriage looks like. It’s just like in Matthew 7:16-17, people will only know your fruits if they can see it. If they don’t see the flowers of a plant in beautiful display they can’t be attracted to it and can’t glorify it. Similarly, people will never know about the goodness of God unless we make them see it some way or the other.

Christian marriages can do that and Christians might want to begin to see their marriages as effective tools for evangelism. Like it is said in Romans 10:14, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” See? Evidence-based! And the evidences are in the daily blessings poured out on our marriages that we are always tempted to hide.

There are however people who do not believe in making a public spectacle of their marriages, kids, blessings, etc for some very good personal reasons. Many others also believe that the more they “glorify” their marriage or blessings, the more they expose their marriage or relationship to the radar of Satan and evil people so they are better off hiding in some corner. Well, if the motive is good, stick to it.

However, fear only begets more fear and you will never be able to overcome your fears while still living in fear. The fear of Satan and his many evil works will only make him have more control over you and eventually cripple your public testimony of God’s goodness. And that’s always the goal of the enemy.

Someone once wrote:

“If all we who call ourselves Christians loved our spouses in a deep, real, vibrant and obvious way, imagine what it would do to the world. Imagine if it were undeniable that those who follow Jesus are more in love, more happily married, more sexually satisfied, and just had better marriages all around. In a world full of divorce and troubled marriages, such a public testimony would show people that faith in Jesus is more than just a claim”

Think about it!

Cheers!

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author