How to Be a Godparent

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:10
Being a godparent is both an honor and a responsibility. It entails a lifelong commitment to a child and is a special role to play in that child's life. This requires giving time, love, and spiritual advice to both the child and their...
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Being a godparent is both an honor and a responsibility. It entails a lifelong commitment to a child and is a special role to play in that child’s life. This requires giving time, love, and spiritual advice to both the child and their family. When done well, it can be incredibly rewarding for everyone involved.

Part 1
Part 1 of 3:

Preparing for the Role

  1. Step 1 Find out what expectations the parents have.
    The role of a godparent can vary widely depending on the family. For some people, it might entail attending a child’s baptism and confirmation, while other people might expect continual spiritual guidance. Make sure you are clear on exactly what you are agreeing to so that you avoid confusion later down the road.
    • Some people even choose secular godparents to help their child’s moral development. If this is the case, make sure you understand the moral values of the parents and find out what other expectations they have.[1]
    • Traditionally, godparents were responsible to raise the child should anything happen to the parents. This is often an expectation and an important part of this role. The family is likely entrusting their child to you should anything happen to them. It is important to clarify if this is expected ahead of time and to be ready for that responsibility. Because of this aspect of the role, it is not something to accept lightly. Take time to consider whether you are ready and willing to potentially raise a child.
  2. Step 2 Learn about the denomination of the child's parents.
    Not all Christian churches are the same or even expect the same from a godparent. Find out what their specific denomination (or non-denomination) expects and make sure you are comfortable with their beliefs.
    • Keep in mind that certain denominations require you to be a member in order to be a godparent. For example, Catholics expect a godparent to be a practicing Catholic. Lutherans also have this expectation.[2] The Church of England, on the other hand, allows for godparents of other denominations.[3] Make sure you meet the church’s requirements.
  3. Step 3 Schedule your time accordingly.
    Being a godparent can be a significant time commitment. To prepare, set aside some time in your schedule to devote to your new role and make note of any important dates such as the child’s birthday and baptism. Planning ahead will ensure you have enough time to spend on your godchild.
    • If you aren’t sure how much time to set aside, try starting with two hours per week. This will allow you sufficient time to connect with your godchild as well as preparing gifts or cards and spiritual encouragement. You’ll probably find that some weeks require less time and some weeks require more time, but this is a good starting point.
  4. Step 4 Build your relationship with the family.
    Being a godparent is not only a commitment to a child, but also to the entire family. It is an honor to be given this role and requires a positive bond with the parents too. This is why godparents are often a relative or close friend of the family. Make sure you prioritize and respect this special relationship.
    • You could try throwing a baby shower or host a special dinner for the family. Try to assist them when the baby comes or offer to watch the child while the parents have some much-needed rest. Anything that shows that you care and want to be involved with their lives will be much appreciated.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 3:

Providing Spiritual Guidance

  1. Step 1 Attend their baptism.
    A godparent is also a baptismal sponsor in many denominations. This often involves standing with the family during the baptism and answering questions to solidify your commitment as a godparent.[4] The child’s baptism is often the starting point for being a godparent and you play a prominent role in this ceremony.[5]
    • In the Church of England, at the baptism ceremony the vicar will ask questions such as: “Will you pray for them, draw them by your example into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ?” and “Will you care for them, and help them to take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church?” Your response to these questions would be, “…With the help of God we will.”[6]
    • Beyond the baptism, godparents are expected to be present at other religious milestones, such as a first communion or a confirmation. Being there to celebrate your godchild’s milestones is an important part of showing your support.
  2. Step 2 Nurture your faith
    . Spiritual guidance is an important aspect of being a godparent. To effectively fulfill this role, you need to be certain of your own spiritual convictions. Make sure you are spending time with God, reading the Bible, attending church, and developing your beliefs. When you are in a good place spiritually, you will be able to effectively help your godchild as well.[7]
    • If you are struggling with your beliefs, you could try joining a small group or finding a mentor. This could help you to work through some of your doubts and learn from others.
    • A daily devotional is also a useful tool in nurturing your faith. Choose one that will help you draw near to God and provide encouragement.
  3. Step 3 Share your beliefs.
    Take time to talk with your godchild about God starting at an early age. You can start by telling your godchild that God loves them and, as they grow, you can talk about your own journey with God.
    • If you need help communicating your faith, you can use a religious book for children and spend time reading with them. You can also find out what they are learning in Sunday school or religious eduction and have a conversation with them about it. For example, you could say, “I heard you were learning about Jesus dying for sin and rising from the dead. What do you think about this? Do you have any questions?”
  4. Step 4 Pray for your godchild.
    Consistently praying for godchild is perhaps one of the most important things a godparent can do. Try to make time each day to ask God to watch over your godchild. Let your godchild know that you are praying for them. This shows them that you are thinking of them and you care.
  5. Step 5 Give spiritual encouragement.
    Whether it’s just a reminder that God loves them or a Bible verse that means a lot to you, giving personal spiritual encouragement will help your godchild grow. You can be creative and share an inspirational picture with them or share something new that you learned about God.[8]
    • When your godchild is a bit older, you could send them an email saying something such as, “Dear Nancy, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been thinking and praying about you. Today when I was reading the Bible, I was especially encouraged by 2 Samuel 22:20: “[The Lord] brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” I just wanted to remind you that God loves you and delights in you and is always with you, and so am I. Love, Godmother”
  6. Step 6 Read the Bible with your godchild.
    Share some of your favorite Bible stories and let your godchild know which parts of God’s word are especially meaningful to you. Early on, you can use a Bible for young children and then gradually progress to the full Bible. Make sure to talk with them about what you are reading and to answer any questions they might have.
    • For example, with a young child, if you read a story about David and Goliath, you could say something like, “See how God kept David safe? Even though there was something scary, God watched over David and helped him. God loves you and is with you too.”
  7. Step 7 Take time to talk about the big questions of life.
    If you have solidified your relationship with your godchild starting at an early age, as they grow they will be able to come to you with questions and thoughts about life. It is important to be the person that they can always come to with doubts and questions. You can make a big impact by providing wise advice and sharing ideas from a spiritual perspective.[9]
    • Eventually your godchild will be trying to find their place in the world. If they come to you with questions about their purpose or meaning in life, you can provide valuable insight, such as, “John, I’ve watched you grow from a young age and you have always been incredibly creative. Why don’t we pray about it together and ask God to show you how you can use your beautiful creativity to glorify him.”
  8. Step 8 Be involved in their church.
    Even if you attend a different church, try to visit your godchild’s church on occasion. Make sure you are familiar with their teachings and ministries. Attending church with your godchild is a positive spiritual activity you can share. You will also be better prepared to help them if they have any questions or need your support.
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Part 3
Part 3 of 3:

Connecting with Your Godchild

  1. Step 1 Spend time together.
    Besides connecting spiritually, try to connect in other aspects of your godchild’s life. Perhaps you can take them out to dinner once a month or try a special activity together like painting. Familiarize yourself with their hobbies and find a fun way to get involved. There is no substitute for developing a solid relationship with your godchild. This is a foundational aspect of a lifelong commitment to them.
    • Perhaps your godchild is involved with sports or music or other extracurriculars. Try to attend as many of these events as you are able. It will mean the world to your godchild to have your support. You could even help out the parents by driving your godchild to an event.
    • Try to stay up to speed with what they are learning in school. For example, if they are learning about the Solar System, you could ask them, “What’s your favorite planet?” They might even be interested to hear that when you learned about the Solar System, Pluto was a planet!
  2. Step 2 Make fun traditions.
    Come up with certain activities that you will do each year. Maybe for Christmas you will make cookies together or for Easter you could dye eggs. This will give you a special time to look forward to and help ensure that you consistently connect.
    • Ask your godchild for ideas about traditions they’d like to have. Traditions don’t have to be traditional! Maybe your godson loves cars and wants to go to watch a race each year for his birthday. These traditions can be unique to the two of you and honor your godchild’s distinct personality.
  3. Step 3 Send cards and gifts.
    Not only does this show your godchild that you care, but it is a great way to connect with them. You can give religious gifts such as a special Bible or religious jewelry. You can also give general gifts, for example a stuffed animal on their birthday. Make sure to send holiday and birthday cards too. A handwritten note on any occasion can go a long way. It is always nice to hear that someone is thinking of you and cares about you.[10]
  4. Step 4 Invite their family over.
    Since your commitment is to the parents as well, try hosting a dinner at your home and invite the whole family to join. Solidifying your relationship with the entire family is a great way to be involved in your godchild’s life.
    • You could have a casual game night where everyone brings their favorite game. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Sometimes pizza and games are more meaningful than an elegant dinner party.
  5. Step 5 Stay involved even when separate.
    If you live far apart, or if one of you moves, you can still stay in touch. Try video chatting or talking on the phone. You can also use email or even text messaging. Make the most of the technology available to you to continue this special bond no matter where life takes you.
  6. Step 6 Be a good example.
    Children need positive role models. When your godchild sees the way you conduct yourself, they will want to emulate it. Make sure your behavior is in line with your faith so that they can learn from not only your words, but your actions.[11]
    • You could volunteer somewhere together, like working at a soup kitchen or building homes for those less fortunate. When you show your godchild that caring about other people is important, this will help them to learn empathy. Doing an activity together will also help your connection and let them see the ways that you care about people.
  7. Step 7 Be a good...
    Be a good listener. Be available to the child during any difficult periods, such as a family illness, divorce, loss of a job, or other unfortunate events. Let your godchild know that they can always confide in you when they are having a hard time or if they need a shoulder to cry on. Your support will be desperately needed at these times and you can provide guidance and encouragement to help them get through it.
  8. Step 8 Step in as a caregiver.
    In case of a terrible tragedy, if you have agreed to be the legal guardian, be prepared to step in for the parents. Give your godchild time and space to grieve while letting them know that you are always there for them. Help them to the best of your ability and don’t underestimate how important your love and support is. You will never replace their parents but you will play a vital role in helping them through this tragic time.
    • You don’t have to help them through this alone. Sometimes a child will need counseling or outside support to cope with tragedy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
    • Recognize that everyone deals with grief differently. Your godchild will likely behave in a different manner than you are accustomed to. This is to be expected and it is important to be patient and allow them time to heal.
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  • Don’t be a godparent to more than one child. If you spread yourself thin, you won’t be able to give what they need.
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  • Being a godparent is a significant investment in a child’s life. If you don't have the time and energy to give them, it is better to politely decline.
    Helpful 4 Not Helpful 0

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