Caring for others…

The people we take care of in life in whatever way (our children, spouses, siblings, parents, etc) are not to be seen as burdens…

It is a privilege that God uses us to take care of them…

Cos with or without us, He’ll still take care of them anyways.

He’s GOD…and nobody can best Him in taking care of His children…

So the next time you are blessed with the responsibility of taking care of someone,

Do not think you are doing him/her a favour (maybe u are)…

But more importantly, you are doing God a favour!!

And He’ll surely pay you back…HE NEVER OWES ANYBODY!!!

Well, that much I know….

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

Lateness at our weddings

I had written this a long time ago but could not publish it because a couple of friends who got married around that time would have said it’s about them. Funny it is, but I have learned one thing in recent times that timing is very important even with publishing of my posts and I still have unpublished posts that are over a year old. So now that at least I know of no close friend whose invite I am honouring soon, I feel at liberty to publish this. Lol.

I thought the day and age where we used to keep people waiting hours at marriage and wedding ceremonies should have been long gone now but sadly it’s still with us. If there was any glamour in it in years past, my dear bride and groom, it’s no longer glamorous. The age we are in now, time is of big essence to throw away waiting for a bride and groom for hours. It adds no value to anybody’s life to have to wait hours for a marriage/wedding ceremony to start. It doesn’t make any bride or groom too any more valuable than they already are. If anything, it rather looks disrespectful of people’s valuable time and for you the bride and groom, it creates a bad image on you especially when you are of the educated or elite class.

Of course we all know sometimes things don’t go as planned and some unexpected stuffs can cause delays but seriously, for hours? Hell no! It’s unacceptable! Of course it’s your day and all your guests have put off important things for your sake just to show their love; but don’t take them for granted! It’s a choice you have to make way before the wedding day.

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In this part of our world where marriage is not just between bride and groom but a family affair, it makes it even more important that you accord a little bit of courtesy to important family members most of whom are way older than you that at least you should respect their time. It surely is very annoying when your entire family and important guests gather at the time you yourself has given them and now have to wait for you for hours!

Ok, we in this part of the world are never on time so that’s why if it’s supposed to start at 12pm you let your invite read every 10am? Oh come on! A few minutes late may be pardonable (doesn’t mean it’s encouraged), but not 2 hours late for God’s sake! But that’s what our educated brides and grooms are doing to us.

When I was getting married my wife and I agreed that we are educated and should not embarrass ourselves with excessive lateness. We were glad and even more put on edge when the presiding Pastor also stressed same to us during our last meeting with him a day before the event with the words “you guys are learned so don’t act otherwise and keep everybody waiting”. And he was glad after the ceremony that we did not disappoint him and all the people who had travelled from very far to honour us.

There were circumstances that could have made us late especially my camera man deciding not to show up on time. I remember leaving to the Church without him doing the coverage and sending strict instructions to my wife and the bridal team not to wait for him and that I would be so pissed if we had to go against our “no lateness” resolve because of him. Luckily, he was able to catch up with my wife and the bridal team on their way. So as it were, things didn’t go as planned and he couldn’t cover the dressing and preparations before the wedding as agreed and yet wanted to hold us against our resolve, demanding we wait for him. Annoyingly though he saw nothing wrong with it because according to him it is unusual for weddings to start almost on time and that almost all the weddings he has covered started at least an hour after start time.

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It is very unfortunate when at a wedding guests begin to make comments like “If I had known I would have taken my time and not come on time or at least eat before coming” just because by the time your reception starts (going by when programme was supposed to start), your guests would have been dying of hunger just because of that little cocktail or buffet. Of course a start time of 10am for a church wedding does not mean groom must be there exactly 10am because they arrive first (that will be great though) but both groom and bride not arriving so many minutes or hours beyond start time in my opinion is disrespectful of people’s time!

Well, maybe it’s just so ingrained in us that we just can’t help it. Then again I thought we only do that while here at home but no, we do it even when we are living abroad. I almost left a wedding of some friends when I was in the UK had it not being that it started to rain just about the time my patience run out. And the atmosphere in the Church that day and the embarrassing expressions of the Pastor, officiating ministers and the groom who had to wait hours for the bride (yet everybody switching to happy mood the moment bride finally entered as if they were not boiling and complaining moments ago) is one that I can never forget.

Shame on us!

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author

 

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Couple fun

Fun is important to every marriage. A marriage/relationship where partners do not have regular fun times is likely to encounter many problems.

Fun is very essential for marriage growth that couples no matter their busy schedules must create time to have fun and laugh together. Fun brings out the best in people and has a connecting effect.

You can’t separate fun from a good marriage or a satisfying marriage

It is said that couples that play together stay together. Reports have it that having fun together can boost the brain chemical called dopamine, which helps fuel sex drive. It is a good way of discovering a partner’s other good sides too.

Plato is reported to have said…

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation”

So go ahead…create some time and have some good memorable fun. You will be better with it than without it.

Cheers!

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author

 

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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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Image sources:
www.wikihow.com
www.jarofquotes.com

 

 

Everyone is fighting a battle

Nobody knew until his death that he was battling a terrible cancer. He looked so healthy, fit, cheerful and full of life on the outside but he was sick. He had problems of his own but he was always there to offer support to others in their problems. Except for his wife, nobody knew how many nights he cried; nobody knew how many nights he felt like he was going to die any minute.

We see people everyday acting as if they are the ones with the worse problems in life. They will curse everything in their life including God, for that one “seasonal” or “solvable” problem whose solution is just delaying. How about those who have permanent conditions/battles that they have to live with for the rest of their life? Not even will they die early (they would wish) but they will live longer still. But what is the point in living quite long when you know all is seriously not well. Ironically, we find these ones embracing life the best, taking each day and moment at a time and being grateful for it irrespective of their trials.

The point is everybody is battling something! Oh yes, yours may be very glaring for all to see and you begin to think God has not been fair to you. To begin to even think that the person next to you is more blessed than you because of their seemingly all rosy and problem-free life is something you may have to rethink because you may just be shocked when that person begins to list all the problems he/she is battling in life.

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There is a reason why they say “all that glitters is not gold”. You (your life) may not glitter but you are the real gold; maybe just not a polished one yet.

Sometimes people look at you and wish they are like you and whilst you thank God for such a blessing that at least you are an inspiration to someone, you again wish they remain themselves because they have no idea the enormity of the battles in your life. Of course they can’t see it because “there is no art to see the minds construction on the face”. Of course, nobody envies the life of people who have visible battles/problems in their life but sometimes I wish we envy such ones rather. Most cancers wreck havoc from the inside and I’m pretty sure nobody would envy the life of someone living with a cancer if they knew. I could imagine how many envied and wished they were like that seemingly “problem-free” good-natured cancer patient when he was alive and how many would if they knew what he was battling everyday of his life.

So you have a seasonal battle going on in your life and already all hope is lost? Do you want to take a moment and think about somebody who is full of hope and life even with their permanent battles which can strike the life out of them any minute? Your battle may be financial, marital, family, addiction, etc, but somebody’s is a silent battle of life and death.

Some have come to accept the Christian life (and God’s love) as one that should be devoid of problems/battles of any kind. They fall sick, they blame God; they lose a beloved, they blame God; they lose a job, they blame God; their marriage is not working, they blame God; anything that just doesn’t work out well, God must take the blame for being so wicked and unloving! Well, whatever we think about God doesn’t change who He is so let’s leave it at that. Just as in life we find some with very shallow experience of life, similarly we expect some to have shallow mindsets about God.

I don’t know why but two Bible verses just dropped in my spirit:

But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong (Job 2:10, NLT).

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? (Lamentations 3:38, ESV).

Guess that should conclude it?

Mark Gadogbe (McApple)