How important is it for a couple to be married before having children?

From the perspective of the Akashic Records, if you are defining marriage as a legal or social contract, it is not very important at all.  If you define marriage as a soul contract and a commitment that has been made between the two people, an energetic bond, then it is very important. 

Every child that comes into the world has a Divine, all-knowing soul and therefore every person in the world has a Divine, all-knowing soul.  Each of you chooses where to be conceived, how to be conceived and where and in what situation to be born.  You negotiate with your biological parents before you are even conceived.  At a soul level, you understand what their lives are meant to bring them and therefore, what being their child will involve for you.  Each of you sets yourselves up with a “perfect mess” -- the perfect situation that will bring your gifts, your strengths, and will also bring to you the sacred wounds and challenges that will lead you to those gifts and strengths.  Ultimately when a child is conceived you can trust that child chose to be conceived into that situation and that environment.

That being said, it is vitally important that the adults who are conceiving a child work with as much integrity as possible.  Meaning that as you choose to conceive a child, or choose to maintain a pregnancy, it is vitally important that you mindfully and consciously set up relationships that will support the child's life.  Those relationships are vitally important not only in regard to the fellow biological co-parent, but it is also true in regard to the relationships you have in your life that form the fabric of the life the child will come into.  It is vitally important that you be just as mindful of the other adults that you invite into the child's life as you are with the relationship with the co-parent or co-parents.  If you have a relationship that is unhealthy with a mother, a brother, a friend, then it is vitally important that you bring yourself into alignment with that relationship before conceiving the child or remove that relationship from your life before conceiving a child.  In a sense you could say that the choice to have a child creates a calling for you to live your life with more intention and integrity.

So in a sense, the question about marriage is actually a question about community.  It is the responsibility of every parent, either biological or adoptive, that you ask the same questions of all your relationships and you adjust those relationships so that what you might look for in a co-parent you also look for in the fabric of community that will surround you as a parent.  Make sure that you are an integrity and that you have asked for appropriate commitments from your friends and loved ones to support that child, or to stay out of the way or to cause as little harm as possible to the child.  Ultimately the legal contract of marriage matters far less than the energetic and social contracts that you make and hold together in your life in general and how those will affect your child. 

 here once was a norm in the United States that all children lived with a mother and a father.  The father worked and the mother stayed at home and raised the children.  Now it seems that most children are raised by two working parents or by a single parent who works.  Is this good for children or parents?  How can we make the best of this trend?

As with all things, this trend is occurring for a divine purpose and this trend is both a result of and a driving force for helping you expand and evolve as a human family.  You are in the midst of questioning and dissolving the aspects of the traditional marriage model that no longer work.  The traditional marriage model was not the original model for humanity.  Your original model was communal.  The earliest human beings favored communal rather than the biological relationships.  Community members may not have even remembered conceived the child because ultimately a child belonged to a community, and all of you belonged to each other. 

The model that favored the biological parents as being the primary caregivers evolved out of necessity when human beings met times of hardship that created isolation or dissolution of communities.  At first this happened only in great traumas when tribes were disbursed.  Over time that biological connections became privileged in different parts of the world among particular groups or communities. 

Over the process of tens of thousands of years, that biological connection became more and more privileged in some cultures, and eventually that biological privilege helped plant the seeds that eventually grew into patriarchy. 

Over time, as patriarchy evolved, as the oppression of women evolved in different ways throughout different societies, you eventually led yourselves to the model in which men were expected to fulfill a certain role in child rearing and women were expected to fulfill a different role in childrearing.  Men and women felt a great deal of pressure to fulfill those norms and therefore were unable to ask themselves that they as an individual unique and gifted individual, wanted most to bring the world and what role they most wanted to play. 

The focus on biological rather than community connection led to a set of limitations that worked well for many generations.  As you grow beyond those limitations, you eventually feel trapped -- whether it was trapped in the role of going away to earn money rather than being with your children or trapped in the role of being with your children rather than going out and doing other work in the world.  (The limitations you have grown out of are mostly based on sexism and it will serve you to listen to the Healing Sexism channeling on Ascension Radio in order to help you understand the potential benefits of dissolving the nuclear family model.)  The benefit ultimately is that it frees men and women to begin to resolve sexism as it has oppressed them in their lives and to find again, their unique individual power, their personal sense of worth and their personal calling in the world. 

Some of you are truly called to raising children; others of you are called to doing other things.  Most of you are called to do some of both.  Because a child requires full attention from adults, yet most of you are called to do things other than raising children, it therefore works best for you to cooperate as adults and raise children in communities or small groups so that a child receives attention, affection, and guidance from a large number of thoughtful, caring adults.  Each adult gives some attention to the child and other attention to their work.    

What you are finding yourselves doing is drawing yourselves back to a communal model of raising children.  The transition from the isolation that you experienced in this patriarchal of the nuclear family toward a communal family model is bumpy.  It involves you having to face the limitations you have been living under, to push up against them and remove them and then have to rebuild or creatively coordinate yourselves to build what is best for children and best for adults as they answer their true callings of the world.  Ultimately, what is best for children is to have enough loving, safe attention from adults that they feel constantly supported and they feel constantly that there is an adult they trust who is available to them. 

Some children find themselves coming to one or two parents who have the resources and the true calling to give that attention to their child all of the time so that some children will find themselves in the best scenario with just a small number, like three or four loving adults to give them attention.  Most children and most adults will find themselves best served by working in a group with something like fifteen to twenty people -- people who are trusted, people who have made true commitments to one another and to the children so that a child at any given moment is surrounded by adults they trust.  But an adult in any given moment feels free to invest in the child or to move in the world and do other work.  This occurs in extended families, it occurs in neighborhoods, it occurs in chosen communities based on a religion or based on some other endeavor or organizing factor. 

This is what all of you are building is both the ability to discern who is safe and who is divinely connected with you and the ability to draw boundaries and eliminate those fellow adults who are not safe for your child.  It is then necessary that you listen to and follow your own true calling, which might involve childrearing and something more to do in the world.  This is true for both men and for women.  Men are not born biologically with less inclination to be bonded with or spend time with their children.  In fact, many men are born with an individual contract and an individual calling to spend most of their time with their children.  Women, in the same way, are not born biologically with a calling to spend more time with children.  Instead, it is different for every individual.  This is why it is vitally important that you work with the situation that evolves in your life rather than trying to force yourself into a two-parent model or force yourself into a community model that does not feel right. 

Work with the people in your life.  Assume that the people that come into your life are there for a reason, and using your own intuition and logic, develop a sense for whether a person is really meant to be connected with your child or not.  Use your interpersonal and negotiating skills to develop a relationship in a commitment with that fellow adult to play some role in your child's life.  Whether it is helping you by spending time with your child, whether it is offering a certain kind of support to your child, you will find that different people come to your life from various directions to be part of the fabric of community that helps you raise your child. 

This is the way that humanity is evolving, particularly in western cultures that operate in the isolation-based model of the nuclear family.  These guidelines are also true for those communities or those cultures where the extended family is the norm.  It is still vitally important that you take a look and find integrity in the relationships that your child will encounter.  Eliminating those people or creating space between you and those people who you sense are not healthy for you and your child.  This is the ultimate information here, is that all of you are moving into what you would call a marriage contract with many people -- with a fabric of community rather than with a single individual.  This is true whether you are raising children or not. 

What guidance do you have for people who are exploring relationships outside the one-partner model?  It seems as if we do not often get it right in dealing with one partner.  Would it not be even harder to be mature, respectful and caring when there are additional people involved?  Can it be easier?

As you move through Enlightenment your hearts expand and your consciousness expands making it possible, even likely, and important for you to expand the way you love.  The expansion occurs in both the intensity with which you love, and the number of people with whom you fall in love.  This is true whether you define a relationship as romantic or not.  Inevitably, as you move through Enlightenment you will find your ability to fall in love expanding.  While you could always feel love for a friend, a parent or a child, these kinds of relationships have been limited.  You saw them as being smaller than romantic love.  You have created a unique experience that has been defined in human society, particularly in western society, as falling in love.  You have allowed yourselves a form of intensity in a romantic situation in which you turn yourselves over to Love.  You allow the experience of Love to become so big that it eclipses other things in your life and that is what you call “falling in love.”  Falling in love occurs when you CHOOSE to fall into it.  You allow it to eclipse other things so that feeling of love becomes your primary experience,

As you move through Enlightenment you will find that experience of falling in love, that feeling of falling in love will no longer fit in a single relationship for you.  You will find yourself feeling that Love in many ways and toward many people.  You feel it toward friends and loved ones, and sometimes even strangers you meet on the street. 

This choice to fall in Love and live in Love was embedded in the parable of the Good Samaritan in the New Testament.  It is a theme that is played out in many spiritual stories.  It is the story of choosing Love first because you feel so deeply for another human being regardless of whether you know them or not.  The truth embedded here that what you are capable of and what you are meant for as a human being is to turn yourself over to Love so that the experience of falling in love occurs all of the time in all kinds of different contexts.  That feeling and all of the choices involved, in which you surrender yourself to Love rather than making choices to back away and withhold yourself from people, that becomes relevant in all directions in your life.  What used to be unique to romantic relationships is no longer unique to romantic relationships.  You feel that feeling and you make those choices based on Love outside of your one single romantic relationship. 

For many of you this will lead you to feel less interested in romantic relationships.  For others, it will lead you to feeling romantic and making romantic relationships or partners with multiple people over time or sometimes at the same time.  How you choose to negotiate that depends on what you are here to learn and what you are here to work with.  You will find that more and more people across the planet find themselves feeling deeply attached and committed, deeply in love with, two or more people at the same time. 

This is happening because your hearts are opening like this.  It is giving you material to further your own Enlightenment progress in that when you find yourself in love with two or more people at the same time, you have a new set of choices.  You can lock yourself into a duality where you imagine that those two people are pitted against one another, that somehow your love is finite and so as you give love to one, you cut yourself off from another.  Ultimately that will lead all of you to getting hurt and that choice will lead you to being secretive and playing games; all those types of things.  Or you can choose to try stepping outside of duality.  This also poses challenges.  You can choose to be honest about your feelings with each person involved and let them make their own choices as to how comfortable they feel staying connected with you as you are honest about the feelings you are feeling for others.  What you are finding is that those of you who are meant to unravel the old romantic boundaries, those of you who are meant to explore how you can commit life partnerships with multiple people at the same time, you will find yourselves being drawn together so that often if you find yourself feeling love for multiple partners, you will find that at least some of those multiple partners will have an interest in exploring the possibility of building romantic partnerships outside of a single monogamous box. 

Many of you are not meant to work with multiple partners, but you are meant to step beyond the limitations imposed by the romantic storyline.  Instead, you will find yourselves more comfortable choosing a single partner for a romantic or sexual commitment, but you will still find it necessary to fall in love non-romantically or non-sexually with many other people and beings in your life.  Ultimately, Enlightenment leads you to reducing the uniqueness of romantic love so that you feel the intensity of loving connections in many different situations and contexts.  Another way to say that is you feel your heart open to a lot of different people and situations.  You feel your heart breaking for those people because you love them so dearly and so much.  Some of you will choose to maintain singular, romantic partnerships and some of you will find yourselves exploring and developing multiple romantic partnerships. 

The most important thing that you can do as you move through Enlightenment with this particular question of romance is to be honest with yourself about what you feel, what you are interested in and to honest with your partners about what you feel and what you are interested in.  When you ask about that ability to be mature, respectful and caring in relationships with many people, we will say it is vitally important that you strive to be all three of those things regardless of your situation.  For those of you who are meant to or will do your best work in a singular relationship, you will find that it becomes more difficult to be mature, respectful and caring when you have other partners involved. 

For those of you who are meant to or who will be best served by exploring multiple partners, you will find that having two partners who are committed to you in a lifelong relationship in an honest way can make more room for caring.  If you have three or more partners, you will find that if two of you have a conflict, you have immediately a mediator available who loves you both, who cares for you both, who can help to see the best in you both.  You can encourage each other to be mature, respectful and caring. 

Stepping beyond the duality of a single partnership requires a high level of maturity.  It requires a higher level of respect and caring and it requires a great deal more trust and faith in yourselves and a very high level of honesty or transparency.  It is not more evolved to have more partners.  It is simply a matter of what your soul is here to work with and here to learn.  The reason the Keepers have brought the idea of multiple partnerships into the dialogue is that more of you are finding it necessary to develop multiple partnerships or to address the question of multiple partnerships because all of you are blurring the boundaries of what used to be a very unique and closed system of romance.  All of you are blurring those boundaries because your hearts are expanding and you will find that the romantic storyline no longer satisfies your larger capacity for Love.  (March 2010)

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The Monthly Message Preview was channeled from the Akashic Records by Jen Eramith, M.A. Permission is given to copy and redistribute the Messages Previews provided that the contents remain complete, all credit is given to the author, and it is freely distributed.

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