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).

ยฉMark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Chasing girls…

Chasing a lady is a very a nice feeling…until she gets pregnant for you when you both are not ready! Then all your youthful adrenalin will be channeled into weightier matters by force; matters like facing yourselves, facing your families, facing the church, facing societal judgments, facing the economy (especially if you’re not financially sound).

Everything changes from then on. I bet the same sweetness “down south” you were chasing and couldn’t resist before she got pregnant, if now they open it for you freely to “have your way”, you won’t even have the energy or mental fortitude to perform as the “Pro” that you are known to be.

Good news is, you sure may survive all that comes with it in the end, but because you have not planned for it, it surely will drain you too. A pregnancy scare or surprise outside of marriage can surely drain life itself out of just anybody…it can be a very tough emotional feeling.

Growing up as a boy, a seemingly funny story was used to “educate” some of us on the subject of chasing girls. The story is told of a young girl who got pregnant and didn’t know the boy who was responsible. There were a lot of guys that apparently “serviced” her. Her very strict father matched her from guy to guy with a spoon in hand. Any of the guys who denied being the one responsible for her pregnancy was given the spoon to fetch out their portion of the semen they deposited in her. If you can’t, you know what awaits you. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I guess it’s always fun…until somebody get hurt, huh?

ยฉMark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Relationships and the crazy things we do for love

Today is the 3rd anniversary of the day I officially proposed marriage to my wife with a ring. I used the word officially because I have always known in my heart that I didn’t need to pose the question “will you marry me?” before I can be sure that she would or wouldn’t accept to marry me. 

The circumstances of our relationship made me feel popping the question was just the Western world or movies thing that has become many African lady’s fantasy and I felt I was not cut out for that. That’s because for us, we have throughout the relationship made each other know clearly that it is a relationship leading to marriage and not just a short-term romantic relationship or testing of the waters or the “you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your Prince” thing. She was my first love relationship and I didn’t plan on jumping into a series of relationships. 

That’s the level of commitment we started with from day one and because of that we had countless times discussed topics relating to marriage and her actions have always proved she can’t possibly say no to marriage if I should pop the question anyday. In fact, I was not even planning on doing that “will you marry me” proposal thing but something happened and I figured it seems almost every lady wants the proposal with rings to happen as a way of launching the marriage phase before actually starting preparations for marriage. 

But for a guy like me who always wants value for money, I didn’t see why I should spend money on a ring that she may not even wear in public because of our cultural, societal and religious perceptions. At the time, though just 3 years ago, there was no way she was going to wear that ring to church (we being choristers and all the “pious standards” that makes you feel having a boyfriend is even a sin? ๐Ÿ˜‚) or in public without having to answer to so many people who would ask too many unwarranted questions. 

It’s not like these days that rings have become a fashion thing that we see ladies wearing rings on all five fingers and nobody cares. And truly I don’t really remember she wearing that ring freely in the open…coupled with that confusion out there over which finger wears such rings, whether the marriage ring finger or middle finger and all that? ๐Ÿ˜‚ So many different views out there on that thing…smh. Those days the old men and old ladies of the church will never spare you with a ring on whichever finger when not married ๐Ÿ˜‚. Plus the fact that even if she wears it even, it will be for barely some two or three months before marriage made little economic sense to me at the time. But I’ve never regretted it because it makes a lot of romantic or emotional sense to women and we get to benefit from satisfying that need anyways ๐Ÿ˜‚. 

OK, so back to what I actually wanted to share? Today’s anniversary made me remember possibly the craziest thing I made my wife do. We had started marriage counselling then I guess, and on one evening outing, I forced her to wear some miniskirt I bought for her during my studies in UK. 

It was a crazy suggestion and the way she looked at me in bewilderment spoke volumes. She’s not a miniskirt person and had never worn any before…none that very short. If you’re a committed church person like her, you would know she’s the type that obeys the “skirt must not go above the knee” rule to the core.  

And here I was suggesting she wears one so short that it can practically reveal her bum. ๐Ÿ˜‚ She blatantly refused and even after I kept convincing her by suggesting she “do something crazy for once in your life“, she went like “what if we meet our Pastor or someone from the church?” That phrase got me, and I couldn’t stop laughing and all the while thinking “like seriously? who cares?” 

As usual I think I gave her all the arguments of whether she thinks Pastors are saints, whether she knows what their wives wear for them at home, whether she thinks Pastor’s wives don’t wear g-strings, whether Pastors never feel sexy and act like really bad boys in bed with all the Playboy moves or she thinks they quote scriptures when coming to sleep with their wives. 

I’m sure all that line of argument for a simple question bored her into just giving in and wearing the damn thing ๐Ÿ˜‚. And I secretly took my camera along cos there was no way I was going to let that rare moment pass. 

But I can tell you the walk to the neighborhood restaurant to just grab some khebab and drinks and enjoy outdoor fresh air was her longest walk ever and the most sluggish and uncomfortable walk of her life. Nothing is ever so priceless as that crazy miniskirt night ๐Ÿ˜‚.

ยฉMark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

ONE DAY…

One day we all will get the chance to tell our stories and be a source of hope and inspiration to many.

We will tell them about how rough the road was and that not all happy endings had a happy start. We will tell them what kept us going in the face of adversity and how our many adversities prepared us and shaped us into who we have become and how in solemn reflection we would wish we never had it any other way.

We will tell them how their perceptions and presumptions of our today are flawed by them not knowing of our yesteryears. We will tell them how much more they will see us in a different light and come to appreciate us if only they will be patient enough to read the whole book and not just the summary of our lives.

Till then, we bear no greater agony than the scattered misrepresentations they have given our lives…our untold stories!

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