Before you continue reading, it’s important to know that godparenting has little to do with God and more to do with parenting.
One of the worries of many parents is the fear of who would take care of their children if they aren’t around.
Parents want to give their children adequate guidance and direction that would follow them throughout their lives.
The issue of choosing a godparent arises at this point.
While all of these factors are important, you should also consider who your kid may look up to as an adviser, role model, or mentor.
This should be someone you can trust your child with while you are away.
What is a godparent?
The word godparent is frequently used in a religious setting.
It refers to a person chosen by parents to offer their child the rite of entry into Christianity through the sacrament of Baptism.
It is generally a member of a Church community who supports the faith of the individual being baptized.
Godparents and their roles are defined differently in various churches. Being a member of a particular religious organization, on the other hand, is not required to select a godparent.
A godparent is someone who may serve as a role model for your child and assist them through life.
How to choose a godparent?
When choosing a godparent, it’s important to avoid making a hasty decision.
Choosing a godparent is more than picking a beloved relative or friend; it’s picking someone who will play a role in your child’s life.
A godparent can fall under any of these set of individuals:
- Family members are excellent godparents since they may have a major impact on your child’s life. You may check whether there is someone in your family who has a special bond with you or your child.
- If your close friends shares the same beliefs as you, they can provide a positive example for your child. You should also think about whether your friendship will survive and whether you’ll need to ask their spouse to be a godparent as well.
- You can name spiritual leader as your child’s godparent if you are religious and want faith to play an important role in your child’s life. They generally have strong values, which may be beneficial if you are confident that they will not impose their beliefs on the child.
- Many parents choose to identify couples as godparents. This makes more sense if they are familiar with both the individuals and their families and are certain that they are in a serious and healthy relationship.
Religious responsibilities of a godparent
The religious obligation of godparents begins with their role as godparents in Catholic baptism. They may be influenced by the parents’ faith and church.
Godparents are responsible for positively influencing their godchild’s spiritual growth and serving as mentors in all areas of life.
1. Catholic baptism
Godparents recite the profession of faith for the infant and promise to help guide the child’s faith throughout their lives.
To be a godparent, you must be at least 16 years old, a confirmed Catholic who regularly attends mass, and a practicing Catholic.
In this case, there must be at least one and no more than two godparents.
2. Greek Orthodox godparent responsibilities
If the child’s parents are Greek Orthodox and want to perform a Greek baptism, the godparents must pay for all of the necessary items for the service.
The godparent is required to bathe the infant and wipe off the oil after the child has received Holy Unction.
Greek Orthodox godparents are also required to take the child to Holy Communion three times and teach the child about the Orthodox religion.
They are also to name the child in both Greek and Christian names.
3. Christening godparent promises
Godparents are obliged to make specific pledges at the godchild’s christening ceremony.
They would pledge to pray and care for the child, turn them away from things that are against God.
4. Pray for your godchild
It is good to pray for your godchild every day. Whatever is happening in their life, what challenges they might face, and what they will learn are all known to the Lord.
Pray for the kid’s safety, that the infant is not harmed, and that the Lord blesses the child. Also, pray that the Lord would lead and instruct you on how to pray for and be with the child.
Non-religious responsibilities of godparents
A non-religious godparent, like religious godparents, have non-religious tasks and obligations for their godchild that include:
1. Care for the physical health of the godchild
In times of illness, parents must be present for their godchild. When parents are unable to care for their child due to illness, they might ask the godparent to take care of the child.
It is also traditional for the godparents to prepare the grave for the godchild who has died.
If neither parent survives, the godparents are expected to take care of the godchild if no other close relative can do so.
2. Being a positive role model
Godparents are like their godchild’s extended family.
Setting a good example for their godchild and being a positive and strong role model are important aspects of a godmother’s and godfather’s roles.
They should also try to spend more time with them to have a positive impact on them.
3. Celebrate special occasions
Godparents must celebrate important events with their godchild, as well as their godchild’s life successes, and milestones since they are essentially extended family.
If they are unable to be physically present with their godchild, they must send customized letters or cards to demonstrate that they are always there for them.
4. Develop a relationship with the child
Godparents are similar to the second set of parents but different. A child may feel more at ease discussing parts of their lives they wouldn’t discuss with their parents.
It is important to establish a bond as a godparent from an early age so that the child understands that you are there for them.
5. Be intentional
Children can pick up on someone’s sincerity and intention at times. They are more likely to grow closer to someone if they feel accepted and wanted.
Being intentional as a godparent is a crucial part of cultivating the garden of connection with your godchild.
This may be as easy as recalling things they tell you from school.
It can be more involved, such as encouraging a child to participate in a Bible study or taking them to a Christian event like a concert or prayer night.
Go with the child to show and demonstrate your willingness to be active and present in their life.
Allow the Lord to speak to your heart, and be open to what he may be prompting you to do to willingly connect with your godchild.
Financial responsibilities of godparents
Godparents don’t usually have financial responsibilities that are compulsory.
- It is up to the godparent to decide whether or not to contribute financially to the child’s schooling. It will be extremely appreciated and even acceptable in some cultures.
- Godparents can start a college fund for their godchild, including money in special occasion cards. They can also pay for items needed for religious ceremonies, purchase gifts for religious ceremonies, or buy Easter baskets every year.
Factors to be considered while choosing godparents
While deciding about whom to choose as a godparent for your child, here are some factors you should consider:
1. Role of religion and faith
Beginning with baptism and christening, godparents have traditionally had a faith-based and religious role in the life of the godchild.
Consider whether, or not you want the godparent to take a religious role, and if so, to what extent.
If you say yes, you should think about whether they know enough about your religion to be able to participate in religious festivals.
Including rituals with their godchild while also encouraging good spiritual growth.
2. Role and responsibilities of a godparent
You must define your expectations of your child’s godparents so that both of you are clear about your responsibilities.
It may be necessary to distinguish between the responsibilities of a godmother and godfather. You may have to consider if they are capable of carrying out all of their responsibilities.
You should also consider the consequences for your child if a godparent fails to fulfill their responsibilities.
If you want to give any financial obligations and responsibilities to the godparents, you should think about their financial capabilities.
3. Godparents’ lifestyle
Since godparents provide a positive example for your child, assessing their lifestyle is an important part of the process.
You must be at ease with every aspect of their lifestyle, and you must examine whether they exhibit the qualities of a suitable role model for your child.
Most importantly, you must consider whether any aspects of their lifestyle are harmful to your child’s health.
4. Location of godparents
Godparents are generally an important part of a godchild’s life since they must be present to set a good example for the child and celebrate festivals.
If they don’t live nearby, you’ll have to evaluate if they’ll be able to devote time to their godchild and communicate well with them.
Being a godparent is a huge but honorable responsibility. Before you decide to take on such mantle, you should consider some, if not all the factors listed above.
Ensure the role of a godparent is something you can handle before saying yes to it. If not, let you NO be clear and precise.
You can also give reasons why you don’t see yourself fit for such big position.