MAKE THE DEVIL TAKE HIS BAGS

When you get out of a bad relationship because it was bad but you are still resentful, and angry….you let the devil leave his bags!!

When you say “I forgive you” but you can’t seem to let it go and have peace with that person…you let the devil leave his bags!!

When you break off your relationship with that hurtful and abusive person but you are still suspicious and distrusting of every new person you meet…you let the devil leave his bags!!

When you decide to let go of the past hurts from growing up in an unstable family environment, yet you still believe you are unworthy of love from others and so refuse to get attached to anyone…you let the devil leave his bags!!

So the next time you put the devil out, MAKE SURE HE TAKES HIS BAGS TOO!!!!!

3 Wedding Day Prep Tips for Men’s Mind, Body, and Spirit

They don’t call it the “bridal” industry for nothing, folks. When it comes to weddings, men are usually seen as a handsome prop rather than one half of the important union that is about to take place.

No matter what the bridal industry says about men and their weddings, getting married to “The One” is an important rite of passage that should be treated as such. You may not care about floral arrangements or choosing wedding colors, but it’s important that you take the time to prepare yourself for your wedding day. This doesn’t just mean your wedding day outfit either. Check out this list of tips and helpful tools to help you look your best on your wedding day and beyond!

Your Commitment and Communication

Now I know that you have already completed a big task by asking your partner to be your fiancée, but your duties don’t stop there. Wedding planning is typically seen as the bride’s responsibility, but she needs your help too! You’re making a big life commitment, so continue to commit to helping with the wedding all the way through the process. You probably have no idea what goes into planning a wedding and that’s okay. Do a little research and check out this groom-specific wedding planning guide from The Knot.

The best thing you can do when wedding planning begins is ask your partner what she’d like you to be responsible for. If she doesn’t know right away, that’s okay. Just make sure to keep asking how things are going and if you can help throughout the process. Sometimes just being a listening ear for her to vent is more helpful than you know. You’re in this together, right? Also, if your future bride asks for your opinion, it’s not helpful to say, “I don’t care.” It may seem like you’re doing her a favor by giving her the final say, but not giving your opinion at all isn’t what she’s looking for. Your partner is looking to you, her future life partner, for reassurances and validation, so offer it!

Find a handy list of ways a groom can help plan too. If you have strong opinions about an aspect of your wedding day, speak up in the beginning.  Communication is a two-way street and something you and your partner need to continually work on for your whole lives together.

Effective communication makes a happy bride

Your Looks

While your wedding is about your love and your commitment to each other, there’s no shame in wanting to look amazing on this day. You don’t have to completely change how you look for your wedding day, but it’s important to look your best for you partner and feel confident.

Hair

You want to make sure your hair is feeling and looking healthy. It’s advised not to try a new hairstyle that radically different from what you usually have right before the big day. Instead, work with a trusted hairstylist in the months leading up to your wedding date. You can find a look you love, and work on maintaining it. Is your hair starting to thin? Take steps to keep your scalp and hair healthy by checking for signs of baldness, taking care of your health overall and consider adding a biotin vitamin into your diet, like biotin gummies from hims, a men’s wellness company. Hims has other hair loss products that can help your hair health too. Not only will biotin help your hair grow, it’ll help your nails grow too.

 

Hims products

Nails

Paying attention to your nails probably just consists of trimming them every now and then, but think of the photos on your wedding day. Your new rings and held hands during your ceremony will be photographed! So don’t overlook this detail. Treat your bride-to-be to a manicure and ask if you can join. It’ll be a fun way to prep together! If you’re not interested in going through the entire manicure process in a salon, consider asking your partner if she’ll help you out. It’ll save  you money too!

Skin

This is another important aspect to not overlook. If you have skin issues, start to address them months in advance. Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated, so start to develop a simple routine now. A beauty routine isn’t just for the ladies! All you need is some face wash, moisturizer, and a lip balm to keep your face looking smooth. There are cool skincare products from Harry’s that you can subscribe to and have shipped right to your door. Their products are sold in Target too, so you can give your lady another reason to shop there. Additionally, eating well and drinking plenty of water does wonders for your health and your skin.

Men’s grooming essentials

Your Health

Mental Health

This shouldn’t be limited to wedding prep, but it’s a good time to mention it anyway. If you’re struggling with your mental health, there’s no better time to address it than the present. See a therapist or speak to your doctor about how you’re feeling. If you’re unable to see a medical professional, seek out your pastor or other trusted friend or family member. Sometimes all you need is someone to talk to and share with. There are apps like Headspace that can help you learn how to meditate too. Taking care of your physical health can have enormous benefits on your mental health too.

Physical Health

Again, this doesn’t have to be limited to wedding prep, but having your wedding date on a calendar is a perfect goal to help motivate you to make changes for the better. If you don’t already have a gym routine, start to establish one now. It can be at home or in a gym with a trainer – whatever you’re comfortable with. If you’re not a gym person or don’t feel comfortable going to one, start simple! You can simply start going for power walks or runs around your neighborhood or download an app like Nike+ Training Club and many more. Buy yourself (and your future bride) a Fitbit and start challenging each other and tracking your steps, calories burned, and sleep.

Working out brings out the best in you

So there you have it… Now, it’s your turn to share your thoughts with us. We’ll love to hear them. 😊

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.

sacrifice-2

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.

sacrifice

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

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