​My Chemist wife…

One of the joys of being married to my wife is how her field or career in Chemistry fascinates a “layman” like me and gets me cracking up many times. The intelligence is just far beyond my small brain! 

When she was doing her undergraduate thesis in computational quantum chemistry, I never understood anything, right from her research topic to her findings. The topic got reshaped a few times but I think the final topic was something like “Density Functional Theory Study of the Mechanism of Oxidation of Ethylene by Tungstyl Chloride“. No matter how many times she tried to explain her research work to me, the end result will be me shaking my head in disbelief at the “wonders she is cooking up“. Sometimes it gets her angry, other times it gets us both laughing hysterically. 

In my attempt to see in reality what she was up to, I once visited her in the Computation Lab but all I saw was some “dancing molecules” on the computer screen. Since then, “dancing molecules” became a term that gets us both cracking up. 

Similarly, during her masters research, one of the funniest experiences I get is when I’m talking to people about her and they ask me what research she is working on or what her research topic is. 

But how can I possibly keep a topic like “Synthesis and characterization of (pyrazolylphosphinite)nickel(II) and palladium(II) complexes and their catalytic activity towards olefin oligomerization” in mind, or just by looking at the topic have the slightest idea what the research is about? My only way of escape is to say she is doing something in the inorganic field that involves catalysis. Haha. 

When I first saw her topic and one of her many ChemDraw® chemical structures that literally gave me headache because I couldn’t understand what in the world it is, I immediately understood why she spends all those “ungodly hours” unreachable in the Lab. 

And I must confess, I tried a couple of times to read her entire thesis with hope that I will understand something but the only pages I understood were the “Dedication” and “Acknowledgement” pages. Those were the only pages written for layman’s understanding. Perhaps it’s also because something caught my eyes on that page that lighted them up to see clearer than before? 😂 

That is, I could not imagine how a whole thesis that I do not understand gets dedicated to “me myself and I“.

But well, I guess that’s one of the best things about marriage: once you marry, almost every major achievement, accomplishment, or milestone gets dedicated to you. Haha. Hope that encourages somebody to get married soon. 😂😜

The confidence that Chemistry gives my wife knows no bounds. With it, at least she’s been able to at one point in her life convince her sisters into believing that she can prepare concoctions from almost anything. 😂 😂 Who wouldn’t believe that, when a day never ends without you hearing “I’m going to the lab to prepare some reactions“? 

Well, Chemistry must be a field for those with higher brains (can’t believe I just indirectly implied my wife is smarter than me 😜). Well, she’s very brilliant, that’s for sure, and I can see her doing many amazing things in the future! And from her we’ve learned that anything is possible in life once you have the almighty Chemistry and Jesus in your boat. Init? 😉

As I write this post I’m reminded today marks 7 years since I started out on this love journey with a very naive chemistry student at the time. Cheers to you Julia McGad for balancing my “chemical equations” so well! I look forward to the PhD (Doctorate) experience 😉.


(PS: This post is also to encourage and pledge support for all the amazing women (“beauties with brains”) in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields to keep pushing to greater heights 💪👏😍)

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

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

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

MARRIAGE IS FOR MEN, NOT BOYS. IT’S NO MONKEY BUSINESS

When it comes to marriage, the difference between a man and a boy is not about age but maturity of the mind, emotions, intellect, actions, etc. Maturity does matter; but not necessarily in terms of age. As John Grier is believed to have said, “You are only young once, but you can be immature for a lifetime”. See the difference?

A marriage between a 20 year old man and a 19 year old woman will be a rare occurrence in many parts of the world, where it appears the very first and sometimes most important determinant of the success of a marriage is the physical age of the people involved. In many such cultures and places the “a young man married is a man that’s marred” Shakespearean ideology rules.

Surprisingly though, the legal adult and marriageable age of 18 or lower is recognized for almost all purposes in this same places. It is well known that about 82% of the world’s countries and 67% of countries in Africa prescribe 18 years as the marriageable age. So what is the problem? Why hold strongly that marriage between 20 year olds will not succeed then?

Irrespective of all the benefits of marrying “young”, I always maintain that marriage is huge; very huge! Anybody entering that institution must thus “study to show himself approved” and anyone irrespective of the age (18 and above) who has done his or her homework well and has prepared adequately for it must be permitted to go in without raising of eyebrows simply because they are “young”. As the age old adage goes, “a child who learns to wash his hands well can eat with the elders”. Similarly, anybody no matter the age, who learns well the rudiments of marriage, can succeed in the institution. Or can we easily say as a fact that it is only at a particular age that people will be fully prepared for marriage and to succeed thereof?

Nonetheless, for a man, I think he should also make sure that aside every other thing, he is financially sound to run his family and if he can at 20, then glory hallelujah! And for a woman, if at the age of 19 she is well informed about marriage, motherhood and all wifely roles and is ready for it, glory hallelujah!

By 20 years however, most men and women in Africa and some parts of the world by the nature or structure of their educational and support systems would still be in school anyways. Funny enough, most will still be in high school anyways…and why think about marriage, sex, starting a family and all that when you are in school, probably still under your parents care and most definitely without any job anyways?

men-not-boys

“Marriage is no child’s play” does not mean a man/woman should be above 30/40 before marrying. There are no rules. It just means marriage is no monkey business; it’s not a frivolous venture, but is serious in content, attitude and behavior (and the list goes on). It’s a maturity issue and we do know that in many cases maturity is not commensurate with age. Proof is that we’ve seen so many old folks behaving so immature!

I do believe in marrying “young” but not rushing into marriage when one is not well prepared mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually…and all the “llys” one can think of.

Marriage is an exciting journey…so good luck to everyone considering it, irrespective of age. Just know it’s no monkey business.

Cheers!

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author

 

 

Happy New Year! Don’t trade your relationship…

​While love is universal, every relationship is unique…

This new year, don’t trade your relationship for someone else’s…

Yours is just as unique as theirs.

Start the year aright! 

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