You’re just different…not abnormal! 

Truth is we are all created differently and we will all live vastly different lives. If the life that I live and the choices that I make does not look anything like yours…you don’t have to be too quick to question that. 

God is so wise that He’s given us all different destinies, different callings in life, different ambitions, different passions, different careers, different backgrounds, different life experiences, different everything. In fact, even our physiques are different. 

As long as we are within the will of God, you’ve got to let us alone sometimes and give us some room to breathe! 

But of course, if we’re outside the will of God, you’ve got to correct us and we have to be humble enough to accept correction…at least God will want that for us. 

Alright, so cheers to breaking free from all the labels! You’ve got to…trust me! 😂🙏
©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

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Every woman… 

Every woman has a longing. 

An innate desire of usefulness to a man because from man she came

But whether her value will go beyond the bedroom 

Beyond just being a man’s object of sexual gratification 

All depends on how she sees and carries herself 

The value she places on herself and sells out to the man she’s with

Will ultimately decide how her man will see her

Men always know the difference 

They know who makes it only to the bedroom as a “sin partner”

And who makes it to being a wife and a destiny partner

When all you bring to the table is your body and chopping of a man’s money

You’ve already decided where you will end

You hold the power to determine your usefulness.
©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?

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“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 

The relevance of a wedding registry and how modern couples can make the most of it

Imagine receiving wedding gifts that you don’t get to use years after your wedding. How possible is that? Well, it is very possible and very true in my case. And I believe it’s not a unique experience but one that is very common to many marriages. It is often the case especially when your loved ones who gave the gifts didn’t know what exactly your needs were and were left to just assume what will be useful to the newly married couple.

Recently my wife and I decided to reorganize things in our home and in the process, we chanced on a number of things including boxes of porcelain dinner sets, spice containers and some cookwares which apparently were gifts on our wedding. There were also some fabrics which never got sewn because apparently, they have either gone out of fashion or were not our taste in clothes. Those are just a few examples but that’s not the first time we realized how some of our wedding gifts turned out not immediately useful to us, and it still reminded us of how we would have traded them in for something immediately more useful, or probably should have done things differently like using a wedding registry. We personally had a lot of those stuff before getting married and they just became needless. Imagine having a blender or a microwave and being gifted same as a wedding present. Do you throw them away, gift them to someone else or keep them hoping the ones you already have gets faulty so you can use the ones gifted to you?

Simply, we failed to use a wedding registry and that’s why we experienced all that!

So, should there be weddings without receiving of gifts then? Well, I don’t know, but I don’t think majority holds a wedding without expecting gifts. The purpose is not for gifts but we naturally do expect gifts. And this may be funny but for some people, weddings are a huge financial investment and as such, they attach with it high expectations of receiving something back at least, otherwise they get depressed.

Giving of gifts is just how we show our love to people who are getting married.

There were things we didn’t have when getting married and we would have appreciated those items more if we had received any of them as gifts. But how would our loved ones (guests) know or have the slightest idea of our real needs or wants? It’s never an easy job planning a beautiful wedding. It is neither easy trying to get a meaningful gift for modern couples; it’s a near mental torture because you want to give something that would suit the occasion and that would most importantly be appreciated because of how relevant or useful it would be to the recipients.

That’s where a wedding registry like Zola comes in as a very beautiful resource for wedding planning and creating a unique wedding registry that represents a couple’s personality and style. Their beautiful online registry is very catchy, with easy starter guides and should typically be the go-to for modern couples that would love to create a free registry. The couple can choose a wide variety of wedding gifts they want (from a lot of major brands) and then their friends and family can access their gift list on the online store. It’s simple, fun, fully personalized and offers a lot of possibilities beyond the traditional way of doing things. A couple can get just anything imaginable.

zola 1

A wedding registry is like a wish list but not a secret one hidden in your heart; but one that openly communicates to your family and friends (wedding guests) the items that you would love as gifts and that will be useful to you in your home. It’s like telling your guests literally “if you want to buy me a gift, this is what I want”. See it like someone asking you out for a drink and asking you what would you have. It’s a beautiful and elegant way or platform to ask for gifts tailored to your tastes and Zola is a sure bet.

It’s a great resource as it saves your loved ones the mental agony we all go through when picking a gift for someone because nobody likes to give a “not so useful” gift and nobody loves to receive one, especially not us modern couples whose tastes are quickly changing. Ever experienced how awful it feels when you give someone a gift and you never see them use it? Also, with the registry, when an item on the list has already been purchased, you will know so you wouldn’t have to purchase the same thing and the couple ends up having three blenders and not knowing what to do with them or having to trade them off for something else (if the registry has a good return policy). In essence, with a wedding registry a couple avoids ending up with a bunch of gifts they may not like or need.

A wedding registry is an amazing life saver for millennial couples and there’s a lot you can get out of the best ones like Zola.

Even if it is cash gifts you end up receiving from your guests, you can personally purchase the specific lovely items listed in your registry and it is always a joy for your guests knowing they contributed to or helped you get the best gifts you needed (must-haves) even if they didn’t personally purchase them for you.

zola 2

Where to start on creating an awesome wedding registry then? It is always important to work together with one’s partner to set up a registry that captures the needs of (or gift items for) both partners and make sure there’s a wide price range of quality gifts (that can be cherished for many years) that your guests can select from. They must be gifts that suit or reflects your unique lifestyles or personalities and things that you will regularly use. The common things are mostly good kitchen or culinary items because you will always cook as a couple or host a lot of friends and family for dinner; or bathroom and bedroom items because a lot of sizzling moments are shared together there; or general items for the living room like decors that makes it shine because it’s the first space people see in your home. That pretty much covers every room in a modern couple’s home, right?

You may also include gadgets for family entertainment or items for outdoor life and travel because you will be having a lot of romantic getaways. You can also include some exclusive or fashionable items that you may only have a once in a lifetime chance of acquiring on a normal regular shopping spree but that you will adore forever. We all have that one thing that we only get to admire during window shopping and who knows, dreams do come true and by including that in your wedding registry somebody may just surprise you and give you a joy of a lifetime.

Nonetheless, you must know your target group (guest list) and know what they can afford so you can structure your registry accordingly. And not just what they can afford, but when you keep your family and friends in mind when choosing items for your wedding registry, you can almost guess what category of gift item each of them might give you. That maximizes your chances. And it will be important to set up your registry early to give your family and friends ample time to make purchases. Never also forget to send a thank you to anyone who manages to get you a gift. It’s just nice to be appreciated I think.

zola 3 -sample registry
Sample personalized registries on Zola

Anything is possible with a wedding registry because you are in control. So, jump onto Zola for your next big celebration and have fun with it. We all enjoy the experience of doing something new and there’s always new ways of doing things and achieving great results.

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

THE CHOSEN

From many I chose you

‘Cos you were the most favourable amongst them

Your lovely character seduced me

And played tricks on my emotions

A part of me gets excited at thy graceful sight

An excitement that heightens

With every lovely thought of you

You are so amazing a figure

A blessing amongst all the Lord’s carvings

So beautiful a living monument

So sweet a manifestation

Of God’s gift of love to me

My heart craves strongly for thy love

And breaks whenever thy love

So rich and true

Is far from reach

Inside my emotions are stacked up

Like full old wineskins ready to burst

I have been looking for so long

And I bless the day I found you

‘Cos you brought light to my spirit

Oh how the light of my soul shone the brightest

The day you accepted as true, promising and trustworthy

Those carefully chosen and well rehearsed sugar-coated words

In your eyes I find the radiance of true love

Your lips are so blessed with soothing words

That puts my agitated spirit to a sweet sound rest

That reassures my soul of a hope

And a future not too far away

A life together and forever

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

(PS: A poem to mark the celebration of our marriage proposal anniversary today)

A journey of love and friendship 

Today I said this sincere prayer:

Dear Lord, 

Thank you for 8 years of sweet friendship. Many couldn’t have it this way. 

Thank you for sending me to her door and thanks for that awkward moment that followed that knock on her door.

Thank you that it was never love at first sight, for the girl had no chill kora 😂😎

Thank you for the opportunity to experiment and grow our love.

Thank you that “better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof” 😋

Thank you that today, we can look back and see a glorious future and not a gloomy or dingy one.

Thank you for blessing us with so much that we cannot even see. 

Thank you for our journey thus far and the priceless lessons along the way.

Thank you that our years have been nothing short of amazing! 

Thank you that on this day, 8 years ago, our eyes met.

And because of that divine meeting we can today mark and celebrate…

8 years of solid friendship!

7 years, 4 months and 18 days of falling in love thereafter!  

2 years, 8 months and 11 days of a marriage we can be proud of ourselves!

Thank you that it is you…

“…who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way, with countless gifts of love and still is ours today” 

Finally Lord, thank you for what psychology says…😎


…………………………………………………………..

Bonus Pictures:


©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

Abuse of the marriage covenant

Here’s a great marriage vow:

“I will be with you, no matter what happens to us and between us.  If you should become blind tomorrow, I will be there.  If you achieve no success and attain no status in our society, I will be there.  When we argue and are angry, as we inevitably will, I will work to bring us together.  When we seem totally at odds and neither of us is having needs fulfilled, I will persist in trying to understand and in trying to restore our relationship.  When our marriage seems utterly sterile and going nowhere at all, I will believe that it can work and I will want it to work and I will do my part to make it work.  And when all is wonderful and we are happy, I will rejoice over our life together, and continue to strive to keep our relationship growing and strong.” ~~ Elizabeth Achtemeier

I don’t know how different it is from the usual “for better for worse, till death do us part” Church vow. But when we say the marriage vow in Church, we are literally saying our spouses are supposed to love us “no matter what” and always find us beautiful or handsome, no questions asked. Of course, that’s the essence of the marriage vow.

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But sometimes we take advantage of that binding agreement and just let ourselves go intentionally in so many ways. We go like, oh how great it feels that we’ve just signed a contract that binds the other person to us for their whole life and nothing, except sexual infidelity, can save their skin! Sweet! Now I can relax, for every bad action or inaction of mine as long as it is not infidelity, should technically be coped with, endured and at best forgiven. Per the vow or covenant we’ve just entered into, everything is allowed as long as it does not border on infidelity…Hurray!

I vowed to love you “no matter what” so now you are at liberty to take your looks for granted! You can now just let yourself eat all the junk foods ever made, grow fat and out of shape. Oh, he should just understand that I’m now a mother and childbirth, raising children, taking care of him and all that just makes many a woman get out of shape. She should just understand that the ever-increasing responsibilities, stressful nature of my job, late night eating and all that just makes many a man develop a pot belly. Just understand and accept it as it is…so I wouldn’t have to put in any effort.

The deed is done, you have now taken the “no matter what” vow, so you can now stop giving much attention to your physique and every other thing as you used to and just corner your partner with the “no matter what” attitude whenever he/she raises a concern. Just remind him/her of the “no matter what” vow they took so they can stop whining about things you feel you cannot change. You think that’s a really safe zone? How sweet!

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Well, these and many others are the sentiments/frustrations shared by many. Problem is too many people treat marriage as a place of arrival, acceptance and comfort; a kind of destination that they arrive at and then everything else in terms of effort stops. People don’t put as much effort into bettering themselves in marriage like they did in the dating phase. After all, if it’s Christian, it never should be broken on any other grounds, right? And then upon that, if you are a man, you are allowed to force your wife into subjection no matter all the ills you do, right? How sad. That’s how God wants it?

“It is so easy to take a spouse for granted, and to take intimacy for license. We can subconsciously think since we’re married, I don’t have to be careful to be polite. We have to love each other regardless, so I can just speak without thinking about how it is perceived” ~~ Shaunti Feldhahn

Right after marriage, many people begin to take so many things for granted. The problem is not the reality that the “no matter what” covenant marriage puts us in. The problem is to be a Christian yet hide consciously or unconsciously behind that and not put in any effort to better anything. I think that is a way of dishonoring your partner and your marriage and making God look stupid for instituting marriage and giving ground rules. Nothing must be taken for granted in marriage. Marriage (and all that comes with it) should not put an end to personal development. We must not pick up a habit of putting our spouses through the “no matter what” test, especially when it is something we can make the effort to change for the betterment of the union.

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The caution is that sometimes it becomes too late to salvage anything and we must not let ourselves get to that point. And I hope it is the Bible that said:

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin”
~~ James 4:17

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

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Image source: www.federalna.ba

Marrying artificial beauties 

The story is told of a man who married a very pretty lady only for her to give birth to the ugliest child he has even seen with no semblance to either of them. The man felt the baby might belong to another man and the woman also swore to never being with another man. The man therefore launched an investigation with the aim of seeking a divorce. 
In the end, his investigation proved to which the woman agreed, that she was born looking ugly but whilst growing up, she signed up for a series of plastic surgeries to become the ravishing beauty that she now is. She admitted having kept this a secret. She didn’t think she ever needed to tell him before marrying him and since he also never asked if her beauty is “naturally acquired from birth” or is a product of artificial modifications, why worry? 

But now, genetics doesn’t lie so her true self has resurfaced in her baby. How sweet or how sad! 😂
It’s funny that our dear ladies of today are deceiving themselves with all these artificial beautification, self enhancement and skin bleaching craze…forgetting their real selves will show up in their unborn seeds. 😂 

Bleach all you want…You will get a man to marry your fair skin and transformed face and figure, but the fruit of your womb can never be bleached or transformed inside there. At least not at a cost you can bear at the moment. 😜 
My only fear is that a time is coming when many men will marry disguised beasts. 🙈 

Perhaps there is just so much insecurity growing among our women. We wish women are not insecure about their unique physiques and God-given beauties. Right there…I just saw a quote: 

“If it’s not fixed by the One who made it, it probably won’t work” 

All the best to us as we brace up for the future unknowns. 
©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

Parenting in the age of gender revolution and gender confusion 

​”The first and second surgeries to remove [her] testicles and penis were successful. The third surgery to transplant ovaries into her body led to serious complications. And [her] last surgery to transplant a uterus, so that the transgender woman might be able to have children, ultimately killed her”

The trans thing is growing at a fast rate and becoming very unsettling. It’s receiving so much push and publicity at a very discomforting level. Society in the name of Modernity and Human Rights is increasingly being accommodating of things that clearly should be “unacceptable”. We now have a growing number of people identifying as:

  • Homosexuals
  • Transgender people
  • Transracial people
  • Transabled people 
  • Trans-aged people 
  • Trans-species people

What’s the next big thing and where does this end?? 

 
OK, so I watched a movie recently and a guy brought a lady home and midway into the kissing and all, he realized the lady was actually “hard” down there.  You can imagine the shock and emotional trauma on his face. He told his friend who then laughed at him that per the episode described, he’s TECHNICALLY A GAY now 😂😂 

Then recently a guy was being tried in court for stabbing and killing a woman he slept with. Apparently two minutes after the sex, the woman told him she was actually born male. And the guys defense in court? He said he’s sorry but he absolutely lost it! And why wouldn’t he? 😂😂

This things are real? Wow! 

I sometimes think every responsible parent and yet to be parents must begin to shiver at the thought of the kind of society their children are going to be raised in and the overwhelming work of damage control they would need to do to keep their children sane. Imagine your little girl asking you if she can identify as a boy? 

We have a lot of work to do in teaching our children all the good stuff about their sexuality and how they should accept and embrace their God-given sexualities. And the best ways they can work through anything they seem not to like about themselves. 

And we may have to do it way earlier before they stumble on all the garbage out there. The church will not do it for us and when we wait too long, the schools and this technologically advanced age may corrupt them way beyond repair before we even begin thinking of doing damage control. 

A lady friend of ours recently said by age four (4) she will begin to give her kids thorough but well-thought-out sex education because you wait too long and you will be surprised what your kids already know. At first my wife and I laughed at the idea of them being too young but on a second thought, it’s a very cool idea. We just have to make sure all the information churned out are very age-appropriate. And surely, with all that is going on in the world, sex education for kids must surely include gender confusion education

Parents have a lot of work to do in shaping their kids’ minds before they get polluted by all that is out. 

I envisage the parenting battle is going to be harder than before in this new age of sexual revolution. And I believe would-be couples and parents must not close their eyes on starting discussions along these lines. 

Like I always say, it’s better to know what your partner thinks about something (a habit, a societal ill, etc.) before you marry them than to wait until marriage to discover. For instance, you don’t assume your partner wants kids and would want to raise them a certain way only to marry and realize he/she does not even want them in the first place or would want to raise them that way.  

And I hope by telling my children some day that I want them to be everything or whatever they want to become in life, they do not assume the impression or freedom to want to become anything trans. If they try I will very sternly tell them to look inside their pants and tell me what they see. 😂😂

But seriously, God forbid it! But I hope He also grants us wisdom in dealing with any such eventualities should they occur, because the world as we see it now, we must be prepared and keep an open mind for just anything. 
God help us all! 😂 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 


(PS: Share your thoughts and parenting goals with us)