Authored by Carly Hart in Religion and Spirituality
Published on 11-07-2009
Choosing a Godparent for a child, particularly a first child, can be a tough decision for new parents. Primarily, they are responsible for assisting in the religious upbringing of a child, and are duty bound to step in if the child’s parents fail to instruct them in matters of the Christian faith. With so many friends and family members to choose from, how does one choose a Godparent for a child from so many candidates?
When choosing a Godparent, care should be given to select someone who is actively living out their faith. Since the role of a Godparent is to assist in the religious instruction of the Godchild, it is best to choose an individual who has a strong relationship with God. The individual selected should be one that shares the same faith as the child and espouses moral values that mirror those of the child’s parents. For Catholic and most other religions that utilize Godparents, this means that in addition to meeting any Church criteria for selection, the individual chosen should be one that regularly attends church and takes advantage of the Sacraments on a frequent basis.
Since a Godparent is a role model, both in religious and personal life, parents should choose someone who is living a moral life. Parents should not feel obligated to choose a friend or family member as their child’s Godparent if they don’t feel that they will be a good role model for their child. Because of the influential role that a Godparent plays in a child’s life, a parent should do their best to select someone who will be a good influence on their child.
One doesn’t necessarily need to choose a Godparent based solely location. Though it is more convenient for them to live close by to more actively participate in the rearing of a child, it is not a detriment to the child to have a Godparent live far away. Creative Godparents can overcome long distances by telephoning often and checking in on the child to find out what they are learning at their religious education/Sunday School classes. In addition, they can always send their Godchild religious materials via mail, such as Bible story books, stickers, or other spiritually uplifting material.
A potential Godparent should also be someone with whom the parents have a good relationship such that they would feel no hesitation going to them for advice on a spiritual matter that they are struggling with themselves. Because a parent is first and foremost the religious educator of a child, a parent who is struggling with issues of their faith should be able to turn to their child’s Godparent for advice on a spiritual matter without fear of embarrassment. A parent who struggles with issues of faith can lead a child to struggle as well. Therefore, parents should select someone that they can trust to give moral and spiritual support when needed.
A Godparent is an important religious and personal role model for a child. Because of this, parents choosing a Godparent for their child need to select someone that they can reliably count on to help them with their child’s religious education.
- Personal Experience
- The Role of the Godparent