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

 

 

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The right attire for Church (God’s presence)

On Sundays, we put a lot of effort into dressing to look our best for God and sometimes it appears the way we dress is what actually makes us accepted by God in His presence. Many have equated not dressing one’s best when going into God’s presence to having total disrespect for God because one wouldn’t dress just anyhow to meet a renowned worldly personality, how much more God. Most churches even put more emphasis on our looks before God on Sunday mornings than how receptive our hearts should be for God’s word coming into Church. Perhaps a clean look equals a clean heart for God.

There are rules for dressing in some churches

Here’s a little story I once read years ago (can’t remember the source) and that changed my perspective on what exactly the right attire (or attitude) should be for Church:

One Sunday morning an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin. Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were very worn and ragged. In his hand he carried a worn out old hat and an equally worn out Bible. The church he entered was in a very upscale and exclusive part of the city. It was the largest and most beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen. The people of the congregation were all dressed with expensive clothes and accessories.

As the cowboy took a seat, the others moved away from him. No one greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him. They were all appalled at his appearance and did not attempt to hide it. As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the preacher approached him and asked the cowboy to do him a favor. “Before you come back in here again, have a talk with God and ask him what he thinks would be appropriate attire for worship.” The old cowboy assured the preacher he would.

The next Sunday, he showed back up for the service wearing the same ragged jeans, shirt, boots, and hat. Once again, he was completely shunned and ignored. The preacher approached the man and said, “I thought I asked you to speak to God before you came back to our church.” “I did,” replied the old cowboy. “If you spoke to God, what did he tell you the proper attire should be for worshiping in here?” asked the preacher.

“Well, sir, God told me that He didn’t have a clue what I should wear. He said He’d never been in here before.”

Well, I don’t know what you make of this story but it sure “touched my life” and perspective forever. Hope it does same for you. Do share your thoughts with us.

(PS: This may be a very sensitive topic for some. I do hope readers don’t take things out of context. The goal is not to condemn or approve of church rules on dressing).

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Believe in the concept of YOU

We’re all immeasurably awesome…just the way we are. Believe in yourself. Believe in the concept of you; not the concept of others.

People will always want to force their concepts on you, telling you at every turn the “acceptable way” of living your own life. They have made themselves “experts” in people’s personal lives and personal choices.
What they don’t like, they want you not to like. What they are not comfortable doing they want you to accept as the normal or acceptable way of doing things.

But always be reminded God never asked their permission before bringing you to this world; and their permission or validation is not needed for anything you do. It’s God’s validation that matters at the end of the day. So, stick to God and keep doing you…as long as you’re comfortable with YOU.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Sharing about our lives

Some people believe in not sharing anything about their life with others. Well, sometimes you never learn any new thing doing that and you never get to be of help or be a mentor to anyone by doing that.

As we share part of our lives with others, we impart knowledge, life experiences, and we learn both ways. A word from someone can reorient your life, make you do some re-evaluation and put you back in line with your goals.

But that does not also mean you should welcome or entertain every voice, else you get confused because people always have something they want to say and are just looking for who to say it to. You need to know what you want and work with that.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

On secular leadership…

How do I know or find a good leader?

Good leaders are hard to find! They are also hard to gather into a team and they are also hard to keep cos they are always thinking what to do next and where to go next and where to make the next big impact. They don’t have time to listen to everybody and every opinion.

Non-leaders are everywhere; they are all over the place making noise! You can always find those and even if they don’t understand your dream/vision, they will keep making noise about it as if they know.

Don’t worry, in your personal space, you have a lot of non-leaders as friends…especially those friends who will never stay put but want to hang around you always…who can never spend time with themselves with the excuse of always being lonely or feeling bored…those friends who can never tell you to your face that even though we love you, we will criticize you when you are clearly in the wrong. Those are just some of the traits.

Never make them leaders of that company you want to build because what will make that company stand is not people with unwavering or religious allegiance to your “personality” but people who can be very objective and sincere to you no matter the odds. You don’t need people who will sing your praises every time…that’s very dangerous.

Of most priority to me, and what I have realized in recent days is to never make a person (be it friend or family) who cannot draw the line between Christian Leadership and Secular Leadership as a leader of the company I want to build. Such people always muddy the waters every morning, noon and night with religion…what doesn’t concern religion too will be “married” with religion. Even in the business world, anybody whose views differ from their entrenched religiosity will be tagged “son of the devil”. That’s just the reality in our part of the world that stifles development.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

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!!!!!

Dear God…

Dear God,
Today you blessed me with just little when I was expecting much.
And because I had hoped and trusted You for a fat blessing,
I complained more than I should have thanked you.
I complained because I compared my blessings with that of others.
And I couldn’t understand why you blessed them more than I.
And I couldn’t stop asking the usual “why, why” questions,
And making little jokes out of the situation just to make me feel good.
Now I realized I have behaved childishly.
So teach me as I onward bound…
To accept even the least of your blessings with the greatest of gratitude!!
Sorry Lord…and thank you!
For always being THE BEST!!!

Time and chance… 

Today we are nobody; tomorrow we will be somebody.

Today people don’t love us for who we are; tomorrow they would wish they had loved us. 

It will be to their regret; to us a joy to know that the best revenge is making people come to know they have made a mistake with us…that we are worth so much more than their price tag.

Time changes! Life is all that matters. Nothing is as valuable as life.

And as long as we have life, we’ll keep hoping; we’ll keep believing; we’ll keep channelling our energies into positive things!

That’s the only way we would be successful. 

We won’t lose our heads over those who want nothing to do with us today; we would channel that energy into something more productive, that adds value to our lives, that makes our lives much better and much happier!

God is such a good God and He’s got us all on good footing! He’s proud of who you are and He’s building you for a glorious future! Focus on Him! 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

​ON ANGER MANAGEMENT

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” – Proverbs 14:29.
I know we all need this.

Life is never devoid of problems, hurts, misunderstandings and conflict with people…

We’ve all had our own share of those…sometimes you are the cause, other times it is someone else (could be a very dear one).

But when we encounter such moments, how many of us remember the scripture above and the fact that we are unique children of God and need to exercise restraint/ patience…and by doing such be an example unto others????? 

Think well about it…and remember that the next time such moments show up their ugly heads. 

Don’t let your temper get the best of you. 

Be kind, be understanding and do what God would want you to do!

You never know whose life you are impacting

Today I’m saying goodbye to the “twenties”. It’s been so long, so fun, so eventful, and so impactful. I went blank for a moment on what to write today, then I thought…let me thank you all who have been a part of my journey. I believe no life is useless and my young life hasn’t been either. 

Every sperm counts. Don’t waste a life 😂

I believe we have impacted each other with our gifts and talents along the way and that should make the feeling mutual. That is the essence of life anyways: to know that you are making impact with your life in your small little corner on planet earth. Sometimes you may not know it or feel it that you are making some impact, but trust me, we all are. 

What started out as a mere personal interest became more of something I do for fun and leisure, and before I knew it, it started to turn into a calling, a longing, a way of blessing lives no matter how small, etc. 

Ever since I started sharing on relationships, I have had countless testimonies from people, and sometimes what’s more humbling is when people way older and more experienced than you seek your “immature” opinion on things and even tell you they feel inspired by what you do. 

There are people, young and old, who occasionally ask for my advice on certain issues and who are grateful for the help they receive. There are people who read my facebook posts, blog posts and other things that I write and tell me how these made a difference for them. Then there are emails and comments and other things that are usually complimentary but means a lot! 

The most humbling moments I’ve had was the emails I sometimes receive from places I never thought I’ve reached. One of those emails invited me to speak at a Church youth conference in the USA because somehow they thought I lived there. 

It made me realize, no matter how insignificant we are in life, no matter how young and inexperienced, we influence lives everyday…near and far. There are people who just watch us from afar and feel inspired; people that you may never meet in life. Then there are people who have the courage to walk up to you, phone you, message you, etc., and say you are their role model. Then, there are parents who see something good in you and trust their children in your care because somehow they see that you can offer them some guidance, some mentoring, a word of advice, just something positive.

Aww! Love you too Arya

I have had all of that and a lot more, and sometimes it’s terrifying because you see your own inadequacies in not being able to measure up. I see all these and sometimes the future looks a mixed feeling…what if I succeed, what if I fail?  

But what’s important is that everything God does for us, He expects us to give Him glory and let the world know that He is the God that blesses. I see blessings in a lot of things…both tangible and intangible, and I keep saying when you hide His blessings; you hide His glory. 

It’s amazing how many lives we touch everyday when we do not keep our lives bottled up but we share it with others. 

Sometimes I try not to write anything or share anything because of the backlash we keep getting from some people who think the reason we project our marriage or relationship is because we want to show off or boast about having the best of marriage. But truth is we are not even close to that…we’re all a work in progress but must that stop us from sharing our own truths? We don’t even force anybody to accept our truth as their truth…we just share what we know. 

Some people believe in not sharing anything about their life with others for whatever reason and they just want you to be like them. Possibly they feel, too much sharing puts them on the radar of the devil who doesn’t like to see any good thing. But, sometimes you never learn any new thing doing that and you never get to be of help or be a mentor to anyone by doing that. As we share part of our lives with others we impart knowledge, life experiences, and we learn both ways. A word from someone can reorient your life, make you do some re-evaluation and put you back in line with your goals.

So yes, many times I fight myself to not share my writings or thoughts but I keep getting the feeling that the thoughts (some call it experience) you refuse to share may be someone’s life-saver. And how disappointing it will be that you held the key to someone’s solution but didn’t give it. 

I guess it shouldn’t matter what other people of the world think…as long as God knows the motive behind what you do and that it’s ultimately to show forth His glory, He will watch over His word to perform it and there’s nothing the devil and his cohorts can do about it. Though there’s never been any blessing in a man’s life that has never attracted evil…but because God must never fail on His word, he watches over the blessings…as long as we keep playing our part and keeping our relationship with Him.

But at the end of the day, what’s of most importance to me is that when I get home, my wife sees me as the same person others see out there through my writings and the life I project. The nice things people write and say about me will mean nothing to me or to her if she does not see me unselfishly loving her and helping build our own relationship or marriage the way Christ would want it. 

Finally mature 😝

So here’s how I welcome myself to the thirties and I hope I don’t get called “immature” again…even after all I have seen, experienced, and achieved in my twenties. 😂 Thank you all for being a part of my journey and my growth into “maturity”. Or, is the thirties bracket not the ones you people call “mature”? 😂

Cheers to “maturity”!! 😜💪👌

 ©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018