Beneath thy excessive makeup, are you really that beautiful?
Is thy character as beautiful and appealing as thy face?
Is it only for the sex appeal, to create sexual desires in men?
That sure can land any man, but will it be enough to keep him?
Is that a sure bet to keep him from moving to the next beautifully painted face?
Well, it’s your call where to keep the focus and where to invest the most time.
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?
“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.
© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)
Marriage & Personal Development Author
Fun is important to every marriage. A marriage/relationship where partners do not have regular fun times is likely to encounter many problems.
Fun is very essential for marriage growth that couples no matter their busy schedules must create time to have fun and laugh together. Fun brings out the best in people and has a connecting effect.
You can’t separate fun from a good marriage or a satisfying marriage
It is said that couples that play together stay together. Reports have it that having fun together can boost the brain chemical called dopamine, which helps fuel sex drive. It is a good way of discovering a partner’s other good sides too.
Plato is reported to have said…
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation”
So go ahead…create some time and have some good memorable fun. You will be better with it than without it.
© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)
Marriage & Personal Development Author
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A woman comes into a police station and tells the officer at the front desk that she wants to report that her husband is committing domestic violence against her, including committing marital rape against her.
An officer takes her into a room to begin interviewing her.
Officer: “Mam please describe to me incidents of marital rape and other types of domestic abuse that your husband has committed against you.”
Wife: “Well officer it all started 5 years ago after we got married. I turned him down when he asked for sex and he started telling me that because we had a Christian marriage, the he and I both had a right to have sex with one another, and except for short mutually agreed upon times for when were sick or otherwise unable to we ought not to turn down one another.”
Officer: “Did he force himself on you that night?”
Wife: “No – he just walked away, but I felt intimidated by the fact that he believed it was a sin for couples to deny each other, I felt pressure for the next time he wanted to have sex.”
Officer: “Ok – so tell me more.”
Wife: “I decided I needed to set my husband straight about sex. I believe every person’s body is their own and no one has a right to coerce or convince someone to have sex when they are not in the mood, not even in marriage. I shared this truth that all of us as enlightened people should accept now in modern society. I told him it is NEVER selfish for me not to want to have sex for any reason, but it is ALWAYS selfish for him to try and convince me to have sex when I am not in the mood.
I told him that I would no longer feel pressured to have sex with him, and that really sex is just a small part of marriage. I told him I believed sex in marriage was not a “right”, but a privilege and that it should only happen when BOTH he and I were in the mood because of how happy and in love we were with each other. In fact, I even told him that just because I don’t want to have sex that often, that does not mean I don’t love him, I just don’t need it that often. I said we ought to be able to enjoy our marriage with one another, without having to need sex all the time – it should happen on special occasions when we are both in the mood.”
Officer: “So how did he respond to that?”
Wife: “He asked me if he was doing something wrong in the bedroom. He asked me if he could help to put me in the mood more often. I told him it had nothing to do with anything wrong he was doing, it was just the fact that I don’t need sex that often, and he ought to respect that and accept that. He was not happy with my view on sex and said my belief was a sin according to our mutually held belief in the Bible as God’s Word. I thought overtime he would overcome his beliefs, and realize that he could take care of himself if he needed it and just be grateful for the times when I was in the mood and wanted to have sex.”
Officer: “Mam but when did he commit marital rape against you?”
Wife: “Well there were many times, that I was not in the mood, and I said No.”
Officer: “So are these the times that he forced himself on you?”
Wife: “No he did not force himself on me, but he coerced me into having sex with him.”
Officer: “How did he coerce you?”
Wife: “Well he told me that I was being selfish, and that I was sinning against God and him by denying his sexual needs. He told me if I continued denying him that we would need to go to a Christian counselor – so I gave in many times and let him have sex with me when I was not in the mood”.
Officer: “So you gave consent? Or did her force you?”
Wife: “Well he did not physically force himself, but I felt pressured because he was going to have us go to a counselor, so I just gave in and let him. But that was still rape right?”
Officer: “Uh, no mam that was not rape. Your allowing him to have sex with you when you were not in the mood because you did not want to go to a counselor was not rape. You made a decision, you decided you would rather have sex with him than go to a counselor, you gave consent.”
Wife: “Ok but later he did even more things to coerce me…”
Officer: “What things did he do?”
Wife: “He eventually got me to go to a Christian counselor, and I felt really pressured by that counselor that I had to have sex with my husband more, and that I needed to let him try to put me in the mood even when I was not – I could not believe it –who did this counselor think he was? I told that counselor he was full of garbage.”
Officer: “Then what happened?”
Wife: “Then my husband asked me after the counseling appointment if I really loved him and cared about our marriage – and I told him “Of course I do! I love our life together – we just disagree about sex”. I told him if he could just accept my views of sex our marriage would be perfect, he was a good man and I enjoyed going places with him and doing things with him. This was now two years into our marriage and we had an infant son, and my husband was such great father to our son. For some reason that was not good enough for him, he thought we needed more sex in our marriage.”
Officer: “Ok did he come to accept your view of sex?”
Wife: “No – he actually setup an appointment with the Pastor of our church and his wife! I went even though I did not want to, and our Pastor actually told me I was sinning against my husband by denying him! The nerve! It’s my body, and no one, not my Pastor, not my husband is going to tell me otherwise.”
Officer: “Mam but how did your husband commit domestic violence against you? Or when did he rape you?”
Wife: “Well after the appointment with the Pastor all of a sudden he canceled with the babysitter and stopped taking me on our weekly dates. I asked him why and he said it was because I was “sinning against him and our marriage by my willful sexual denial” wasn’t that domestic abuse? After all he was using our date night to get me to admit I was wrong about sex in our marriage.”
Officer: “Um mam – he is not required by law to take you on dates.”
Wife: “But wait – there is more. We had a new kitchen remodel that we were ready to sign papers on and he called and canceled the meeting to sign the papers to get the work started. He said the kitchen we had while outdated, was still functional and he was not comfortable with spending the money to do it. We were only cleared to get the work done based on his income, and I don’t make enough to do it on my income alone.”
Officer: “Um mam – he is not required by law to get your kitchen updated.”
Wife: “But wait you need to hear this. He used to go clean out my car every weekend. I would pick a room each weekend for him to dust and clean, and now he stopped doing that. He used to give me back rubs at least once or twice a week. Now he stopped doing that too – he can’t do that right? This is emotional abuse! This is manipulation right? He says it is “discipline” to bring me to understand God’s view of sex in marriage.
Officer: “Well mam maybe he is manipulating you or maybe he just does not want to do these things for you anymore. Either way, none of this so far that you have told me is illegal, you might not like it, I might not like it, but it is not illegal.”
Wife: “What do you mean not illegal? The law says he can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do?”
Officer: “Mam, from everything you have told me, you have done whatever you did by your own choice. You might have done it because you wanted to avoid stress, or going to a counselor, or you just did not feel like arguing.”
Wife: “But there is still one more horrible thing I have not told you – my husband changed his auto deposit of his paycheck so it no longer goes in our joint checking account, he has his own account now. He goes grocery shopping for us each week now. I used to do the grocery shopping. He gave me the credit cards that were in my name for me to pay out of my own paychecks. I work too, but I don’t make nearly as much money as my husband. I used to be able to go anywhere I wanted and spend what I wanted, but now I have no spending money. That is financial abuse right? He can’t do that right?”
Officer: “Mam is he providing food, shelter and clothing for you and your child? Is he holding you in your home against your will?”
Wife: “Well yes he is providing those things for me and my son, and no he is not holding me against my will. He makes sure my car is fully fueled every week. He gives me some cash for if I need some things during the day when he is at work. But I used to have full access to all our money in our joint bank account and I was able to do what I wanted with our money, and now he took that from me – he can’t do that”.
Officer: “Mam – why are you still with this man? You clearly don’t see marriage the same way he does and it sounds like he is either trying to teach you something or he is getting ready to divorce you by separating his money into another account. He may have even had an attorney advise him to do that with his paychecks. If you get with a divorce attorney, your attorney can get a “status quo” order, which then requires your husband not to spend any sums of money without clearing it with the court and your attorney. The court can order that he has to provide you with a certain dollar amount each week that you can put in your own account and spend as you want as you go through the divorce process and they can order him to continue paying all the household expenses.”
Wife: “Divorce process! I just want him to stop what he is doing and let us go back to our old life. I love him and the life we have. I don’t want to have joint custody of our son, I don’t want to see my son every other week, I want to see him every day! We would have to sell our home, and even if I could keep it in the divorce I would have no way to make the payments even with child support and alimony from him. I don’t want half my life, I want all my life – the way it was! Can’t you or another police officer tell my husband to stop doing these things and we can still stay married? Can we have a judge order him to take me on dates, upgrade the kitchen, put his money back in our joint account and stop asking me for sex? My girlfriends at work told me what he is doing is domestic abuse and is illegal – that means you can stop him right and force him to stop doing all this right?”
Officer: “Um- no sorry no one can do that for you. I don’t mean to get in your personal affairs mam, but it sounds like you have quite the dilemma, there is an old saying “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”. You have to make a choice, either work out the sexual issues with your husband and make your marriage work, or divorce him and try and find a man who believes as you do, that whoever wants sex the least determines how often a married couple has sex.”
© The frustrated feminist wife. Biblicalgenderroles.com (2015)
“If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife”
Many believe that in our present day and age, the enforcement of the Exodus 22:16 verse/law would be a great encouragement to fornication. Some also think applying Mosaic Law in the New Testament dispensation is like crucifying Christ again.
In others view too, if the focus of the new testament is only about fleeing fornication, then what happens in a situation when someone is unable to follow the rules all the way through and where do we find a remedy for that situation. Are they totally condemned because they couldn’t flee?
Again, others feel there should be a balance so we don’t try to live the Christian life only on the basis of the New Testament, after all the Bible in its entirety is our manual, not just the New Testament.
So what do I think? I think both verses (Exodus 22:16 and 1 Corinthians 6:18) being in the Bible makes the Bible a holistic book. Though there are some varied histories behind the Exodus verse and what was the norm in those days, I do not believe the verse is meant for pagans; neither do I believe it is there to encourage promiscuity or the lack of self control. And whether or not its application or relevance should be left to die with the practice of old and not brought into modern day Christianity, the reality is that I believe God in His infinite wisdom knows that even in today’s Christendom, some will get caught up in a situation where they are unable to exercise self-control and have “unmarried sex” and maybe have pregnancy on their hands before marriage. And what should then be the Bible’s requirement when that happens to a virgin or woman of marriageable age? Judge and condemn them because “fornicators” shall not inherit the kingdom of God, and on that basis prevent them from getting married because of the sin? Should they be made to look like the worse of sinners as some Churches do or be allowed to marry even when they are willing?
I do not see the application of Exodus 22:16 as condoning wrong or encouraging sin but just the recommendation of the Word of God. Repentance will not be required of Christians and mentioned in the Bible if God was oblivious of the fact that Christians do sin or will sin (not as a habit though). All sin is sin; fornication (whether a one-time act or serial act) is an equal sin as any other sin. Christians do mess up, don’t they?
Far from it, I’m not encouraging fornication; just sharing my thought on the Exodus 22:16 verse. Premarital sex is a sin and that’s undisputed! Premarital sex is sexual immorality and all sexually immoral (I believe those whose actions have become a conscious habit and not just someone who once fell into sexual sin and repented) will NOT inherit the kingdom of God!
But what’s the atonement for every form of sin as the Christian knows and lives by? Isn’t it simply a genuine repentance and change from one’s old ways (though some consequences of one’s sins cannot be undone)? And aren’t all Christians, including Pastors, only being perfected in that regard? Is it not true that we all are not perfect; at least, not yet?
So yes, I’m not encouraging premarital sex. I’m only saying that the practice where a Christian brother and a Christian sister are made to feel like the worse of sinners when either by “mistake” or some unrestrained passions they fornicate and even refused marriage by the Church even when they are willing to is too extreme and not a balanced Christian principle in my view. Of course I do not expect the Church to encourage sex before marriage or preach it, but neither do I expect the Church to assume that Christians are without sin. Christians were sinners before accepting Christ and Christians are not without sin after accepting Christ.
What do we sometimes see in Churches? Some churches decline such folk marriage even when the people involved have acknowledged their sin, repented and are willing to. Some churches say they have to punish or discipline the people involved in order to maybe purge out the sin or serve as deterrent to others. To do this therefore they instill certain rules. In some churches the Church Pastor brings them before the whole congregation and shames them, telling of their act. Then, the “fornicators” (not the appropriate tag because I don’t believe someone who fornicates and then repents still qualifies to be called a fornicator) when in Church cannot sit among the congregation but at the far back of the church in specially reserved seats for such folks. He/she is also not allowed to partake in communion; neither is he/she allowed to come near the “altar”, among other restrictions.
The Biblical basis for such actions is sometimes “absurd” to me; but surprisingly many Christians submit to these kinds of treatments by the Church, maybe out of respect for Church elders or “Church discipline”. Those who are unable to handle the ill treatment just leave the Church altogether. Church discipline especially regarding dating and relationships is a very sensitive and divisive issue to many Church folks anyways.
When two people are unable to exercise self-control which leads them to fornicate, I’m convinced the Biblical solution is to pray for them and encourage them to repent and mentor them. And should pregnancy be the outcome, they should be made to consider marrying especially if they are of marriageable age and offered as much help that the Church can in that regard.
Isn’t that what Exodus 22:16 recommends? Even if marriage is not the option they want to pursue, a lot can still be done for them other than shaming? Why a Church will rather chose to not encourage the praying for, mentoring and marriage option, but be interested in shaming and “disciplining” instead is what is sometimes not [biblically] clear.
Nonetheless, here’s how one Dr Lawson Stone interprets Exodus 22:16:
“Clearly this text has no idea of justifying or legitimizing any kind of sexual intercourse prior to marriage, but is a sanction enforcing marriage as the only setting for sexual union. The Church’s emphasis on sexual sin appears selective, harsh and hypocritical”
Well, the thing with opinions; they are so varied!
God help us!
(PS: Fornication is sin; as much as you can, flee it!)
© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)
Marriage & Personal Development Author
According to one sex education expert:
Men in sexless marriage cheat to stay in the marriage; women in sexless marriage cheat to get out of the marriage.
Don’t know how true that is… Do you?
“The best kind of sex in marriage is when a husband is cherishing his wife and the wife is cherishing her husband. Sex affirms each other’s beauty, worth and desirability. Neurologically, the more you have sex with each other, the more you desire each other and the less attractive other women become. This is basic brain chemistry”~~Gary Thomas
Nothing can replace physical presence in relationships or marriage. Long distance is not for you if you just can’t do without physical love for a period of time. You may die from the lack of companionship, the touch of a hand, hugs and kisses, reassuring glances and smiles, romantic moments, etc.
Long distance relationships (LDRs) or long distance marriages do not thrive on physical love; they thrive on love or connection that exudes from your heart, mind and soul only. LDRs are mainly full of mere promises of love and hope…that things will be better or great when you are together again. But then when you are together, you have the problem of having to work out all the relational differences brought about by the distance and figure out how to re-bond physically again. The “sweet nothing” promises is what keeps it going, what keeps it alive…and things may begin to take a downturn when promises begin to fail, postponed or not honoured.
They say if you love someone, it doesn’t matter if you are miles apart because the heart will always do the connection. Well, the miles actually do matter! They only will not matter much if you know that it is but for a short while or a definite length of time. But the miles will matter if it’s for a seemingly endless journey of separation beyond what you can bear or sacrifice for. Your heart, feelings, emotions and affections can still be with someone far away from you…there’s no doubt about that. You will keep dreaming about them and wishing you are together again. But if that someone is not coming back anytime soon, anytime definite, or keeps postponing the reunion, your love may die along the line because there is no timeline for you to keep it alive and there’s little hope to nurture it.
Love doesn’t thrive in a lot of uncertainties. And going long distance with no clear cut end in sight is dangerous. Studies have shown that couples tend to be happier and less distressed only when distance is understood to be temporary; otherwise, the relationship seems doomed.
It’s easier to commit to a relationship that you know is going somewhere definite than one that you can’t easily put a finger on. It’s easier to make sacrifices and commit to something whose end you know than that which seems not to have a definite end time. When he/she is supposed to wait for you a week and then a week turns into a month and then a year…you are weakening the strength of the commitment. The strength, energy and success of sacrifices and commitments, find their foundation in what is known/definite and not otherwise.
People naturally grow tired waiting too long and that’s why married couples are often advised not to stay apart for too long. The lack of physical, emotional and sexual intimacy or bonding will be a huge drain on the union when care and wisdom is not exercised in prolonging the times apart.
Nonetheless, just saying you are not a long distance relationship person and so keep throwing relationships away would be a little unwise, don’t you think? Like I wrote in an earlier post I CANT BE IN A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP, you may be able to avoid it prior to marriage but may not be able to run away from it when it shows up its ugly heads in your marriage.
The tendency of every marriage experiencing a period of separation is very high. Nobody is born a long distance relationship person; nobody wishes for it either. But sometimes it’s just a good test of love…and hey, love’s got to be tested to be true, abi?
Mark Gadogbe (McApple)
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A holy character does not stop one from being tempted. Neither does seclusion nor the utmost consecration of spirit.
Remember our Lord Jesus Christ, most Holy and full of the Holy Spirit was tempted even while in the wilderness?
Temptation does not respect many things; it will always knock on your door. And you can’t only choose to pray it away…you must resist also. That means work on your part; not the tempter’s part. Marriage does not ward off temptation either; marriages face their own dose of temptations. Your actions will determine whether or not the temptation will lurk in the darkness to continually afflict you. With every form of temptation, you’ve got to make a choice. According to the wisdom of Martin Luther:
“You can’t prevent the birds of the air from flying over your head, but you don’t need to let them build a nest in your hair”.
That means you may not be able to prevent temptations from coming your way, but you have a choice to make.
For married people, one Dr. Beverly Yahnke, a Christian psychologist admonishes that we:
“make the tough decision to honour your spouse even if it means you won’t ever know what a relationship with someone else would have been like”.
Perhaps the grass on the other side that looks so green, tempting and relishing to you is just artificial grass. Better still, if you would focus on your own grass and put in the work, and create favourable conditions for growth, sooner or later your own grass would be greener…and rather more tempting to others (but there too you will have a problem o. Haha).
Many times we make the mistake of thinking that what we can bear, our partner can also. We are all different and the very thing you take for granted because for you it can never lead you into temptation is what will lead your partner into it. Someone said he’s been away from his wife for 3 years and all the while didn’t cheat on her and doesn’t understand why the wife did. Well, maybe you could handle that length of distance; maybe she couldn’t (not justifying her action). But the posture of taking it for granted that absence easily predisposes her to temptation than you should not be encouraged. Maybe you don’t crave attention so don’t see the need to offer it…but maybe for your partner, that’s what feeds his/her love and without it can predispose him/her to temptations. Maybe you can do without sex for days; maybe your partner can’t and will fall without it. Maybe outings don’t mean anything to you; maybe it’s the prime need of your partner. Maybe public display of affection (PDA) means nothing to you; maybe that’s what makes your spouse feel super and as little or frivolous as you may think that need is, don’t do it and you put him/her at risk of nursing feelings for someone who does. Maybe you think building heart-to-heart friendship with your spouse is a waste of time and that women are just too annoyingly emotional; maybe they will soon fall for someone who tries to bond with them at that emotional heart-t0-heart level. Don’t take things for granted.
May God grant grace that we do not create unfavourable conditions in our marriages/relationships that easily predisposes our partners to give in to all manner of temptations. May we find grace to create suitable environments in our marriages that our partners will not be drawn to nursing thoughts of looking elsewhere to have their needs met…but can look to us and have their every need met.
So get to work and watch those prime needs now…don’t leave them unmet! It could be a need for attention, friendship, companionship, a lot more affection, cutting down the times apart, a lot more talking, a lot more kind words, a lot more playfulness or fun time together, a lot more sex, a lot more respect, a lot more empathy, a lot more creativity or spice, a lot more surprises,….a lot more of everything! If you have to, readjust your plans or life goals to create the much needed balance all marriages need.
God help us!
Mark Gadogbe (McApple)
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