This is a question I asked myself after we had our 3rd child. We are Catholic and in order to baptize your child you must have godparents who are also Catholic. We struggled with this concept quite a bit. You are probably asking yourself why didn’t you struggle on your first two children. To be honest, we just didn’t fully understand or truly care about what it meant to be a godparent. Both of us had godparents growing up but they weren’t always active in our lives.
At first, we struggled with the meaning of a godparent. My husband has the belief that a godparent is someone who is actively in our children’s life in every aspect. Meaning they are at every birthday, they are there for them when they are sick, they attend ball games, etc. Almost like a parent or a grandparent would be. My definition of a godparent is a more spiritual aspect of someone who walks with Christ and can help raise and guide our children to live a Christ-like life. Well combining the two ideas was almost impossible especially when you throw in the Catholic rule: they must be Catholic.
We struggled with should we choose a family member or a friend. My view was a family member is more apt to be in their life. One of our fears was that we would choose these very important individuals and there would be a falling out or ten years would pass and our children only see them a handful of times. My husband thought friends would be the best choice because they are more apt to attend ball games and be more active in their lives…which is probably true. We both were stressing ourselves out over something that should be fairly simple. I even postponed our daughter’s baptism because I was so fearful in making this decision.
I, of course, turned to google before the Bible (I have a bad habit of this) and I searched “how to choose a godparent.” WikiHow actually has a 7 Steps to Choosing a Godparent7 Steps to Choosing a Godparent! Most of my findings told me to make a list, choose someone based off similar values, and someone who will be an active part of their life. Well… this really didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know and wasn’t already doing.
After a few more weeks of putting the decision off, I decided it’s not fair to our little girl to wait any longer. Being baptized is very important to my husband and I, we feel like it is the bridge connecting her to God. I know, she’s already connected without being baptized but I feel like as a parent it is my duty as a child of God to make sure my children are exposed to and live a Christ-like life and the first step in that is getting them baptized. So, I decided to start researching the Biblical meaning and purpose. “According to the Code of Canon Law, “Insofar as possible, one to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who is to assist an adult in Christian initiation, or, together with the parents, to present an infant at the baptism, and who will help the baptized to lead a Christian life in harmony with baptism, and to fulfill faithfully the obligations connected with it.” (Catholic Herald)
This sealed the deal on our choice for a godparent. It isn’t about if they attend ball games or birthday parties it is about the godparent leading the child to Christ through being a role model but also in teaching. In the past, we took the role of being a godparent lightly and we were wrong. Choosing a godparent should be filled with heavy thoughts because it is supposed to be a very important role in your child’s life. We can’t choose a spouse for our children but we can choose a godparent. A spouse will give them a lifetime of happiness but a godparent will give them a lifetime of love and compassion for the Lord. Yes, our children need a godparent especially in today’s world where there are many different entities pulling them in all directions they need someone who can help center them in Christ even when the world is spinning against him.