A Godparent is defined as a person who presents a child at baptism and promises to take responsibility for their religious education. Some denominations also require Godparents to be of the same faith. But having a baby of my own made me realize that a Godparent is much more than that.
A Godparent is someone who you trust to not only guide your child’s spiritual journey but one whom you entrust every aspect of their life with. These individuals wouldn’t be your child’s guardian should something happen to you, unless you leave it in a will or legal document, but they’re intended to be positive role models for him or her to mirror as they grow up.
My husband and I took the job of selecting Godparents for our child very seriously. Here are some attributes we considered as well as employed in selecting Godparents for our child.
- Someone who will be present
Choosing your aunt who checks in only when she wants something or the cousin who migrated and you have not spoken to in ages, or that friend who is prone to disappearing is not a good idea. You want to choose the family member or friend who is constant or always present in your life, and by virtue will be present in your child’s life. Choose someone who will be accessible and open to spending time with your baby. Why choose someone you will not hear from often?
- The Positive Influencer
This is one that we were big on. We wanted to ensure our candidates were individuals we respected, were kind-hearted and caring and would have a positive influence on our child’s life. You can also think about what qualities they would bring into your child’s life that you’re lacking in. e.g. intellectual wisdom, cultural experiences, etc. So your brother with a gambling and drinking problem may not be the ideal Godparent for your child.
- Stand Your Ground
Make sure you are choosing these individuals for all the right reasons. Selecting Godparents can be very tricky at times since family members, in-laws and even some close friends may be expecting to be the ones standing up on that day with you at the church. But this is a very important decision you will be making for your child, Godparents are forever, I can’t stress that enough. So don’t feel pressured into having to select one of those individuals, they will get over not being asked in due time.
- Talk with Candidates before
Be sure to discuss with the candidates being chosen what you’re expecting of them; the chat is also a good way to clear up any misconceptions they may have about their roles. Do I have to come see the baby every weekend? Do I ensure she grows to be the very best that she can be? Answer all questions truthfully. Godparents are often thought of as having solely religious roles, but if you’re like me, that may not be your sole purpose for selecting Godparents. For example, my daughter’s Godfather is an atheist and his first question to me when I told him that my husband and I would like for him to be our daughter’s Godfather was “Aren’t godparents religious?” So it is always good to talk before. People you choose, can also decline, and that’s okay!
If you plan on selecting Godparents for your child these are some points to consider, you can definitely add or subtract from the list; but please keep in mind that whoever you choose is really up to you, just remember these individuals are forever. Maybe you will have signs from your child like I did, which was weird, thankfully I didn’t ignore them. There were instances where when one of her Godmothers came around she would always move to that side of my tummy or give excited kicks. Even her Godmother would be amazed that it constantly happened; a sign!
Did you choose godparents for your child/ren? How did you choose them?
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