Written by Evi Idoghor
When I first heard the term – conscious co-parenting – on a talk show, I was curious — these oyinbo people have come again oh! I thought to myself. I leaned forward, keeping my back straight, ready to process what was being said. The show's hosts discussed a man (Van Jones) who was previously married with children but wished to have more. He happened to have a friend who wanted to be a mother. Although not romantically involved, the two paired up to have a child. However, it was not specified what procedure they utilized - whether they had sex or used IVF.
Following the successful birth of their child, Van Jones, encouraged others to follow in his footsteps, saying, “It's a concept that I hope more people would explore and consider.” As the hosts discussed the topic, one of them stated that she loved the idea since it allowed individual parents to go off and follow their dreams or still have time to live their life, as that would not be the case, if they were living with their children 100% of the time, as most married couples do. She explained that after her divorce because she didn't have her children all the time, she had more room to write her book and pursue other interests.
Another host stated that she occasionally told her (male) gay friend that if she was still single at a certain age, they would have a child together – but not by having sex! She added. As their voices faded into the background, I wondered when children became accessories, pacifiers, or toys that one could be pick up and put down as they pleased. I concluded that this is yet another ploy to destroy the traditional family unit, just as God intended it to be.
What is conscious co-parenting?
I researched this term, which is commonly used for divorced spouses who have children and are seeking to find a common ground to raise them with as little conflict as possible. What the hosts of the show (or the individual in question) meant, was Elective or Platonic co-parenting. According to an article on Oxford Academic, “Elective co-parenting is a relatively new phenomenon, whereby a man and a woman who are not married, cohabiting or involved in a sexual relationship with each other have a child together and typically raise the child in separate households. This type of co-parenting differs from other uses of the term co-parenting.”
From this definition, the phrase "separate households" stood out to me. I recently lived in two homes for about six months, and I remember how difficult it was for me to pack and leave each time. I also recall when I had to squat with others who lived closer to my workplace, just to beat traffic, I felt as though my life was unstable, and I desired stability. I can only imagine how children who did not ask to be in this situation can be affected by it. In recent years, there has been a rise in opposition to the traditional family unit. Children are being taught that there are various kinds of nuclear families. They could be made up of a father and a mother, two fathers, two mothers, and so on, depending on how a person or couple wants to define their own version of the nuclear family. It's a far cry from what I was taught in primary school.
Why advocate for the traditional family unit? One might ask – According to studies, children who grow up in (married) two-parent households have a more stable childhood and better adult outcomes. This is not addressing circumstances beyond our control, such as death, or a nasty breakup that causes someone to become a single parent, and (or) rape - this is for individuals who feel they can wake up one day and have a child, who is supposed to be the result of love, unity, and devout commitment (marriage).
A Quest for Truth
The reason we see this happening in our society is that people have decided to become their own god and choose for themselves what is right or wrong, acceptable, or unacceptable. Like Sarah in the book of Genesis, who suggested for her husband to have a child with her maid, because both were childless for a while. And most of us know the conflict which arose from that poor decision-making. When adults go ahead and make decisions like these, innocent children are caught up in the crossfire. With so many different interpretations of what marriage and family should be, it raises the question: why is the enemy working so hard to undermine the traditional family unit? Same-sex marriages, artificial insemination for singles, and now elective co-parenting, is it possible that he knows something that the rest of society does not, or are they working together to attain a common goal?
What happened to the days when men and women desired marriage and couldn't wait to tie the knot and start a family together? Now, if a woman is in her mid-30s, unmarried, and successful, she may say, “If I'm still single at such and such an age, I will have a child.” Is a child now a source of solace for those who are single? While it is true that it takes two to create a child, society has worked extremely hard to convince us that it only takes one to raise them - well, one with the financial means. Again, this is not referring to those who have found themselves in situations beyond their control, but rather to those who believe that having a child is the answer to the emptiness they feel on the inside.
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Through assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy, things have become “so easy” and accessible that you don't even have to bear the burden of carrying your own child - after nine months, you will be presented with what you ordered. You can select the type of man you want to be the “father” of your child and the type of woman you want to carry your child from a catalog. The child then grows up and asks, “Where is my father?” “Why isn't mommy always at home with us?” “Why do I have two daddies?” “My classmates have a mother and father.”
If there was ever a time to stand up for truth, it is now. People are fighting to view truth as a lie and lies as truth (Romans 1:25). There is a battle going on against children's innocent minds. If you speak up for what is right, you become a target for public scrutiny and cancellation. But if we want to preserve and pass along truth to future generations, we must stand up for it. Marriage was designed to come before children - “Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union.” Malachi 2:15 (NLT).
This scripture shows us three things: (1) A man and his wife are one, as reiterated in other passages (Matthew 19:5-6, Ephesians 5:31). (2) The life we live, is not our own, again, as reiterated in another passage (1 Corinthians 6:19). (3) God’s desire for godly children from the marriage union.
Another reason for our society's ongoing breakdown is that we have cast off restraint. We fail to recognize or place value on the importance of committed relationships. We want to hook up and have sex with as many people as possible, gaining experience along the way, just so we can boast of a robust resume, and be chosen over the other person, for our competence in the bedroom - if we decide to marry one day. Sometimes this reckless sexual behavior results in single-parent homes, and (or) abortions, again, children, the victims of our disobedience and disorderliness. We make decisions for ourselves, damning the consequences. We exercise autonomy, even though the only one who should have power over us is the One who created us — our lives are not our own.
Even when we get married, you know, and do things the right way, we let our careers, hopes, and dreams, get in the way of raising godly children. We abandon children to the care of their carers and technology designed to distract them, as they do us, with no intention of nurturing them. We are so consumed with providing them with the life we did not have that we buy them things and fly them across the world while completely neglecting what God says about training up a child in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6).
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We must recognize that we are raising or will raise children in a time when truth is being challenged. As Christians, we must not only reject anti-biblical ideologies but also equip our children and (or) future children to do the same. God, who created everything, including sex and marriage, also provided a safe environment in which children can be loved, nurtured, and raised with a complete understanding of the truth.
As previously said, there is more stability when both parents are present in the household to raise their children. Fathers and mothers play different roles in the lives of their children. If it were not the case, then two moms, or two dads, or one mom or dad, can effectively carry on that responsibility with no qualms from God, but men and women are different – don’t let the current narrative fool you.
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