A union between a man and a woman has its destination in creating harmony in relations through mutual perfection of both characters, with an intent to bring spiritual and moral image to this world («Victory of love»).
Michail Telepov and Nadegda Telepova «the ABC of family».
There are few people left believing in true love in this world full of betrayals, divorces and lies. Love can be only found in Hollywood movies and Mexican series. Unfortunately, lives of so many people now are driven by money, power and sex.
But there are still people who hope to meet their love, to create family, to get older together. Such kind of people became audience of a seminar that took place in Samara United Methodist Church. The name of it speaks for itself “How to find your other half and live with him or her happily the rest of your lives”.
Michail Telepov and Nadegda Telepova were our invited lecturers.To start with, they are a christian family who live together for 29 years and now have three children and two grandchildren. Secondly, they are professional psychologists with degrees: Dr. Telepova and PhD Telepov, who has been working in the field of family psychology since 1993. They are consultants at international organisation ACET (Aids Care Education Training), profess in “Centre of Study Development”, the city of Samara. The couple is also known for publishing their books in premarital and marital relations.
The seminar was held three evenings, during which we enjoyed lectures, asked questions, received personal consultations, had follow-up conversations nad informal time with tea and biscuits.
A lecture of Michail and Nadegda is always a lively and interesting monologue of a lecturer in two persons – spouses finish each other’s sentences, it seems that they read each other’s minds. The material is brilliantly and dynamically presented with good humour and examples from personal life. Amaizingly, it is was not “milk-and-water ”, everything was superbly prepared and sticks to the topic.
The first day of our course went under the name of “Marriage Design” and was devoted to the search of a partner. Michail and Nadegda helped the audience to realize that most commonly people enter marriage with deep selfish aspirations – “let us love ME together”. We have learnt that the genuine intention of marriage is “creating harmony in relations through mutual perfection of both characters, with an intent to bring spiritual and moral image to this world”. A complicated sentence which says about self-giving love, respect, creation, testimony to the world.
It is not that hard to find a life partner as it seems. According to Nadegda and Michail it should be a person of opposite sex, corresponding with these three requirements:
- He or she must be single;
- He or she must not be your relative;
- Both of you should have the same religion, the same spiritual and moral principles.
Yes, it is that simple. Other wishes concerning height, weight, nose shape, eye colour, car model, cooking and other abilities are our ambitions, which we can and should adjust.
A “triangle of love” was also under consideration this day. According to psychologists, it has three verteces: responsibilities (marriage), friendship and sex. More detailed information about “entering” each vertex of the triangle you can find in Telepov’s book “The ABC of family”.
Finishing the first lecture professors gave practical advice of building up premarital relations.
The second evening was dedicated to the topic of differences between men and women. These differences often become barriers on the way to healthy relations. Balks turn up on physiological, psychological and spiritual levels. One should know about them and be able to identify. The recommended steps on overcoming these issues are as follows:
Opening yourself before your partner (with an aim to get to know each other);
Sense of humor;
A willed decision to accept each other as you are.
During the third lecture Michail and Nadegda told about achieving family happiness. To do this a couple should get their own family system with close personal and sexual relations. As it turned out, that is the true meaning of a Scripture verse “For this reason a man will leave his farther and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”(Mark 10:7-8) These lines include three necessary aspects of building happiness.
To form the family system a family should to have physical (territorial), financial and social-emotional independence.
To fulfill the second point on the way to a happy marriage (i.e. creating close personal relations) the couple is to:
Realize the need in each other
Be open and avoid secrets
Interact with each other
Constantly grow faithfulness and respect.
Plasticine was used to illustrate the example of complete unity. If we mix green and red pieces we will get a brown one and it is no longer possible to separate them. But if viewed closer, red and green lines can be noticed. Spouses should be connected firmly, intimately, inseparably, though not dissolve, but remain bright full-value individuals. Unity should take place on every level:
Only then the harmony and true happiness of marriage may be achieved.
All that might seem to be unnecessary “scientific mess”. But personally I think , one can get down to this theoretical family “mess” in a positive sense and create a happy marriage everyone is dreaming of. A harmonic marriage that, unfortunately, is a rear case nowadays. The marriage that was bethought and designed by God when He created mankind “male and female he created them”. (Genesis 1:27).