The Christian Marriage Vow

On being for or against the Christian vow:

I’ve said it many times just like we’ve been taught many times…that ideally, Christian marriages are supposed to be the best model of marriage out there.

But then again, the thing with Christian marriages is the temptation to take each other for granted because of the vow we make to God to never leave. At the back of our minds, we know that as long as the issue does not have to do with infidelity, we are not allowed to leave the marriage. So, we take advantage of that and stop being very loving and caring in so many ways…in so many little things that rather end up meaning so much that they can shake the very foundation of the union.

We endure so much abuses and neglect in our Christian marriages because we just can’t stand up and leave. The vow has bound us to all the silly, stupid, irresponsible actions and attitudes of our partners…and wickedly, many people before marriage hide that hellish aspect of their miserable lives until after the vow, then they set sail and begin showing their horrible character. We end up therefore on the most part just enduring our marriages instead of enjoying it.

On the one hand, the vow keeps things sane because without it, everybody will just walk out at the slightest wrong, discomfort or unmet needs; leaving the family unit irreparably broken. On the other hand, it’s just a mess…enduring all the unthinkable until God Himself comes back to save your sorry ass.

Possibly, this situation stems from a wrong understanding of the vow, but sadly, that’s the practice of the vow in most Christian marriages. If only they would but tell you the glamour you see on the outside (even in Church) is only a cover up for a slowly decaying marriage, will you even believe it?

(PS: if you want to exercise the slightest thought of me being against Christian marriages, stop right there and go back to sleep 😜).

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

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No justification for cheating? 

“I am married to a preacher. I love him, but he’s hardly home. Preaching assignments here and there. The little time we get to be together too is always ruined by visitors and phone calls from Church members and their ’wahala’. Dave, I can’t even compete for his attention, let alone, time. That’s why I am having an affair with my Ex-boyfriend. At least, he sees me.”

This thing eh. Extremists say there is never any justification for cheating and someone who truly loves you will never cheat on you no matter what. Eh? Be there and be talking big grammar. 😊

Me, I always say whether cheating is justifiable or not does not take away the fact that there are plenty of “good reasons” why people cheat which must never be overlooked or made light of.

It may not make sense to you, but it made sense to them enough to even consider the possibility of cheating on you (maybe grace kept yours from going all the length so don’t boast). What is so trivial to you is not that trivial to somebody o. No human being takes neglect or abuse (of any kind) forever. It gets to a point where enough becomes enough, and no matter all the scriptures you quote…there’s no turning back for them. That’s how sensitive a human beings’ needs are.

Keep trivializing things in your marriage/relationship and keep taking for granted the balance between physical/emotional needs and spiritual needs.

This thing is some way o. I’ve seen a lot of “hard tongue speaking busy for God people” whose life became miserable after the marriage they took for granted, giving all their time to God’s work, began to shake. One will wonder in the end, if their marriage was that equally important to them before they kept relegating it to the background and kept quoting a million scriptures and reasons to keep their partners sacrificing and sacrificing and sacrificing. To what end, only God knows.

I’m not against doing God’s work or winning the whole world for God or any other good paying secular work for that matter. I’m all about creating a good balance in life because even Bible is against a false balance. And I’m all against abusing marriage in the name of doing God’s work and trying to justify it.

If the reason why you keep putting everything else above your marriage or partner’s needs is good enough justification for you, then their reason for cheating on you (or leaving you) because their needs are not being met should be equally good enough justification for them. Who’s the judge of what’s justifiable to a person?

Yes, I’m not for cheating and neither am I a fan of that blunt lose talk or phrase “there can never be any justification for cheating“. Action and reaction has long been a proven fact of life. So is the saying “you reap what you sow”. You can’t reap a good infidelity-free marriage/relationship if you don’t give it good enough time and effort it requires to safeguard it. You can’t boast of well trained children when you don’t stay present in their life to play your parental roles.

Why marry when you know you can’t have or make enough time for it. Nothing takes our time except we allow it to. It is we that made ourselves busy and we have the choice to always undo that at will. If you don’t want to, be willing to pay the price for it, after all, every choice in life comes at a cost.

So stop making all that noise about, when someone cheats on you, then it means they don’t love you. It’s not a general or universal rule, so don’t make it one. Even Jesus we proclaim our undying love for but we keep sinning against Him. We keep “cheating” on Jesus and breaking His heart 😊. Probably they loved you to bits but you took it all for granted, refusing to change and still expect them to be there. So yes, some will cheat on you and still be there…even after all our sins we don’t break off from Jesus, do we? 😊. Oh, that’s different? How different?

Some people will leave you so fast, others will wait on you for so long, but in the end, everybody moves on or away from anything toxic or that which makes them constantly unhappy. Even Jesus will throw you into Hell eventually if you constantly keep breaking His heart and not repenting 😊.

It doesn’t matter how long it takes, they will eventually move. So if your pride is that your partner has been tolerating your “stupidity” for so long and haven’t left or cheated yet, it’s just a matter of time. Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, but ever seen marriages that break after so many years; 10, 20, 30 years? You will wonder wonder what happened after all those years. You think human beings tolerate nonsense forever? 😜

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Marriage: A step of faith

At the end of the day, marriage is always a step of faith…there really is no best time. Once you are of marriageable age, every time is the best time. 

You just need a little bit of preparation, some small finance and seeking of God’s face and grace. If you want to wait until you get everything right, you may never enter it the time you should. 

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility. Compatibility is important but you will lose out on a lot more if you put all your focus on just that. Marriage goes way beyond compatibility issues. 

So, take that bold step of faith. On your marks, get set…go!! 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Dating is easy…Marriage is hard work

​Marriage preparations do not end at the altar

You are allowed a temporary sigh of relief and accomplishment at the altar…but almost immediately begins real work; a new reality. Dating is easy…Marriage is hard work. 

When in doubt, remember all the billion people who couldn’t keep it together even at the easy dating stage. If dating could not last…marriage could not too. You may not like that reality but it’s just the simple truth. 

God meant marriage to be forever, of course your Pastor told you that; but it’s not always forever if you don’t put in the works. And who says your Pastor’s marriage is all rosy and a heavenly Jerusalem 24/7; don’t believe that lie, they just want you to see it that way. They go through every thing every normal marriage goes through; are they Jesus? How will you feel if your Pastor comes to say on the pulpit “things are not going too well with my marriage but we’re still working things out”. You think it’s not a possibility? The Pastor’s marriage has good times and bad times just like every other marriage. 

There are no perfect marriages; yours wouldn’t be either. So, chin up and let go of all the fantasies! 

Dear Christian, Are Your Sins Any Different?

There are people in church who commit worse sins than people in the world yet they always feel they are better than the people “in the world”. They feel they should be the only beneficiaries of the grace of God. In life, it is sad that it is the one whose sins are in the open that is seen as the worse or baddest of all human creations. 

It is always surprising for me why we Christians tend to judge people so much…because just a minute’s reflection before you pass judgement on another would have shown you how much of a sinner yourself you are. I thought it is by grace that we ourselves have been saved and not because of any special privilege? I thought it’s the Church that says there’s no greater sin and that every sin is a sin, that the sin of murder is as equal as the sin of lying or even covetousness?

It’s such a shame the way we make the Gospel of Christ look these days!

Is is not Paul that said in 1 Cor 9:22 that, “…I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some“? How is that even possible when today’s Christian always feels he is better that everybody else among God’s creations? 

It’s truly scary that the Gospel of Christ is becoming everything else except the Gospel of love and one that reaches out to even the worse of sinners. This is what happens when today’s men of God care so much about their reputation in society than demonstrating love to those who are seen to be “of the world”. 

Shame on us! 

Man of God, keep acquiring the wealth, keep preaching only in the comfort of your “big churches” and only to Christians…and keep giving yourselves whatever titles imaginable as men of God, and keep being happy about the death of souls that God sent you out to go and snatch from the pit of hell and keep being concerned about only your offertories in Church. 

Keep being only concerned about the monetary benefits or blessings of being a child of God. Keep being busy about preaching only in churches (or from church to church) because of the honorarium or “small envelopes” you give each other for honouring invitations amongst yourselves. Keep forsaking the souls trooping to night clubs, orgies, strip clubs, pubs, souls on the streets, etc because no “small envelopes” comes from that, except the risk to your reputation of going to such places with the Gospel. We know you intercede fervently for us your members do that no harm comes to us, but you need to do more and stand in the gap even more for the unsaved souls out there. When God gives you an opportunity for a soul that needs saving, you need to chase after them; they don’t need to chase after you, I guess? 

Do you even hold one single crusade outside of your church in a year these days? Do you even give just a small part of the monies you keep asking us to sow in church day and night to orphanages and other charities so we can also assuage our consciences of not doing anything for the less privileged in society? Except for invites for which if you are lucky one or two “worldly people” pass through the church, what else are you doing to go out there? You have left that work to campus ministries whose “Students In Church Evangelism (SICE) crusades you have even refused to support lately because to you the “mother churches”, the logistics (expenditure) is always greater than the number of souls won and churches planted from these student programs.  

I thought you believed that no amount of money can compare with the value of a single soul for whom Christ paid the ultimate price? 

Thank God your judgement would be greater as men of God. But for me, I pray God does not strike us down, especially you “men of God”. May He rather have mercy on our souls and be patient with us to change our own ways even in the house of God. It is really our souls that God should have mercy on because it will be much more regrettable if we ourselves miss the mark of the upward calling.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

I can love him/her better than you 

Always remember that everything you are doing to or for your husband/wife or your boyfriend/girlfriend, somebody else can do it and even do it better. Don’t say it’s not possible…it is! 

If you’re giving him/her sex, somebody else can also give them that and even give them better. Maybe your stronghold is food or taking care of the home…but do you think nobody else cooks better than you or can ever manage your home or partner better than you? You think nobody else can spoil your girl/wife better than you’re doing now if they get the chance? 

Everything you do in life, somebody else can do it better than you. The only reason why you are still there and still the only one doing it is simply because that other person has not been given the CHANCE. So, never lose guard and start playing dull moves. Everybody can potentially lose their partner to the next available highest bidder. 

You’re not irreplaceable in even the most loving of all relationships. Just do something very silly, or worse case, just die now and see how soon you’ll be replaced by someone else. It’s natural for voids to be filled, just like in every working environment. 

Like Sam Casey put it: 

“It’s easy to see your position in leadership at the office as becoming more important than your job as the leader of your home. No one is indispensable. Everyone can be replaced on the job. God can raise up another leader to do what you are doing. It’s worth asking your spouse from time to time to make sure you stay on the mark” 

Never stop loving your partner, never stop doing right by them. And never stop evaluating yourself and each other. Start treating them wrong…and you will soon see. You will wonder where that highest bidder taking what belongs to you even sprung up from. Oh boy, they have always been there! They have always been secretly admiring and wishing for what you have. All it had to take was your negligence. 😜

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

Promises and Realities

​At the beginning, love is based on the promise of a life together; later, it is built on the reality of a life shared.

That’s a very profound truth. But not only that; it also presents us with two extremes or opposites: Promises vs Realities.

The problem is that people are not very accepting of realities. They always and constantly wish the stark realities away. They want to forever live in a bubble…never planning ahead what they will do when the bubbles burst. They act as if it’s impossible for bubbles to even burst. 

We pray for all the good things to happen to us…but never for the wisdom to know what to do when good things don’t happen to us, knowing very well the reality that good things will not always happen to us in life. 

Life is a bit of good here…a bit of bad here; a bit of success here…a bit of failure here; a bit of happiness here…a bit of sadness here; a bit of right choices here…a bit of wrong choices here; a bit of life here…and a bit of death on the side.

How long will you last in any venture (relationship, marriage, business, etc) when the winds of realities test you? How prepared will you be? How often do you pause in life to assess your situations? Is your assessment of the fortunes of your relationship blinded by love? Will you accept the realities of your shortcomings or lack of foresight which probably caused you that relationship, marriage, or business? 

 

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

 

 

Marriage: a field of openness and accountability 

​A healthy relationship or marriage requires honesty in all things!

In marriage, your partner has every right to have access to your phone; and in fact, investigate whatever they want on it. It’s just not always recommended because of not wanting to encourage or breed unnecessary suspicious behaviours towards each other as couples. But the simple truth is that marriage is a field of openness and truthfulness.

A part of marriage means or involves accountability. If you don’t want to be accountable to your spouse then you don’t need marriage. I don’t see why you would want marriage yet not want to be accountable to your partner. 

The moment you decide to marry, you are saying you want to be responsible and you’re giving your partner exclusive rights to information on every detail of your life. Every action of yours affects your marriage, as such, it is every partner’s duty to keep the other in check. If you don’t want that, then you simply have to remain single because you can’t be married and still have singleness attitudes and mindsets.  

Singles are only accountable onto themselves but once married, you are accountable to each other. The marriage vow enjoins you to. 

Our accountability in marriage is not only in the eyes of God but also to our spouses; as such, you must not resent being checked by your spouse. 

The trademark of a strong Godly marriage is complete openness; a relationship where couples can talk freely about absolutely everything. If you are faithful, there is no reason to want to hide anything. What at all is on your phone that you are hiding from being seen by your spouse?

Some may say one’s partner may see something that may trigger mistrust but the point is, trust never happens in a vacuum. It’s based on actions…always! I can never wake up one day and just start trusting someone. I must see evidences of your actions over a period of time to conclude on trusting you. And who said trust is a one time thing? It never is. It is constantly being assessed and daily renewed. 

If a partner thinks once you marry, trust must just be there automatically, I don’t want to marry such a person. You need to continuously prove to me that I can trust you and I can never do that without genuine openness and accountability for your actions. 

So yes, If I chance on something unpleasant or suspicious on your phone, there is something called explanation, clearing of doubts or putting things in their right context. It’s only people who don’t want to be accountable that don’t like being questioned. And for me, once you don’t want to be accountable and subject yourself to scrutiny, then you are a questionable marriage material. Even Jesus Christ says he will judge us so we must be accountable and if that’s cool with us, then it must be cool that we are accountable to our marriage or partners. 

The simple truth is that in marriage, both of you need to take joint responsibility for how the marriage is doing. How do you do that when you want to keep some things a no-go area? 

Share your thoughts with us. 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author