Motherhood Motherhood Monday

Are Godparents Still Important?

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Do your children have Godparents? How did you decide? What does it really mean to you?

All of my children have Godparents but recently I started thinking about what do I really want the role of the Godparent to be in my children’s life. My first child’s Godparents are my brother/sister-in-law (my husband’s brother).

They are now divorced.

My second child has two sets of Godparents whom we initially met at our church but over the years have become like family to us. Now onto my third, we have asked another couple from my church.

Initially, I thought a Godparent was supposed to take care of your child if something happens to you. I guess that’s why we initially picked my brother/sister in law. As the years went by, my thoughts about this have really started to change.

Fast forward 8 years, I now have three children and know that [God Forbid] if something happened to us – I want all my children to be together. I don’t want my three children split up with 3 different set of people. I want someone to take ALL my kids, and honestly not sure if any set of Godparents would be willing to do that except my ex-sister in law (which we have already discussed).

So, then I asked my husband before selecting that last set, “Do our kids really need Godparents?” He then asked me,  “Why do you want Godparents?” The discussion then started. I looked up the proper definition and had no idea.

god·par·ent ˈgädˌpe(ə)rənt,-ˌpar-/

noun
plural noun: godparents
  1. a person who presents a child at baptism and responds on the child’s behalf, promising to take responsibility for the child’s religious education.  In other words, Godparents were chosen to assist with the child’s faith and  nurture his or her relationship with God.

I don’t think either set of my children’s Godparents take responsibility for my child’s religious education. I have also learned that today, the role of a Godparent seems to have less of a religious implication.

Godparents are usually chosen to take an interest in the child’s upbringing and personal development. A Godparent is not a legal position, therefore the Godchild is not necessarily left to the Godparents incase they were orphaned. It must be specified legally through a will.

What is important in a Godparent? After reading about the duties, I decided what we have always wanted were Godparents to be actively involved in the upbringing of our child. For us, that means imparting into their lives with nurturing advice, praying for them,  along with memorable learning & fun experiences along the way.

I want more than just my child’s Godparents to give gifts on birthdays and Christmas, but to actively be apart of their life because they want to be.

I honestly don’t want to always have to call a Godparent and tell them what is going on with Child A or ask if you want to spend time with them. I feel if you accept the role, then you want to actively be in my child’s life for the long run.

With my first two children, some Godparents are way more active than others which is what led me into this deep thought for the final child. I really don’t want him to have a set of Godparents for sake of having them.

Do your children have Godparents? How did you decide? What does it really mean to you?

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Adjua
    September 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    “I honestly don’t want to always have to call a Godparent and tell them what is going on with Child A or ask if you want to spend time with them. I feel if you accept the role, then you want to actively be in my child’s life for the long run.” Bernetta, for this very reason I feel as if my husband and I should have dedicated more thought and prayer about our selection for both children. As you shared, I assumed the role of a Godparent was to take care of the child/children if something were to happen, instill Godly wisdom & values, and be a strong support system/heavily involved in their activities from the start. Perhaps I expected too much? or have antiquated views regarding the role? idk..lol. Given another chance, I wouldn’t have assigned Godparents. My sisters and mother are an excellent support system in fulfilling any void and just being present without a request/invitation. On the other hand, I’m not against it. If you have solid friendships with couples who truly consider your child(ren) as their own and naturally bonded with them at the beginning (not just special occasions), the experience of having Godparents may be very rewarding. Just my thoughts…

    • Reply
      Bernetta
      September 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks Adjua!! I totally get where you are coming from!

  • Reply
    Courtney A.
    September 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Hey Bernetta! As you know, I have two young children (ages 3 and 6 months). Neither of them has Godparents, and neither my husband nor I have Godparents, which is probably why we never gave it a thought. Our hope is that they are loved, cared for, educated and nurtured spiritually with or without us present. My parents would most likely be responsible for them if something happened to us, because no other family is as close or concerned about them as my parents.

    • Reply
      Bernetta
      September 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      That is the truth! Nothing like a grandparents love!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Towns
    September 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    My children have godparents and they are very important in their lives. My children’s godmother is very involved in their education, both normal and summer, artistic and world. She knows that I have their spiritual life covered and we discuss that regularly. We have talked about what should happen if anything where to happen to me and their father. Their godfather is always aware of my health and how they are doing. He checks on them regularly.

    • Reply
      Bernetta
      September 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      That’s awesome Elizabeth!! Nothing like having people in your life that care about your children like you!

  • Reply
    Joyce@MommyTalkShow
    September 23, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Our son has godparents. I chose my brother and closest female cousin. So many of my friendships have changed throughout the years that I didn’t feel comfortable choosing a friend and then we lose touch.
    My brother and cousin, though will always be my family and we’re all super close.

    We’ve been discussing making my brother our son’s legal guardian in the event something happened to both of us.
    Other than that, I expect them to be emotionally supportive of our son and his accomplishments. Too many people assume Godparents will shower their child with gifts and parties.
    If you ask someone to be your child’s Godparents, you should be on the same page about expectations and responsibilities. As your post shows, there’s a lot of variety in what people expect!

  • Reply
    Shauntell
    September 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    My daughter has two sets of godparents. I choose them based on their walk with God and knowing that if anything happen to me. They would be apart of her life, plus I have in my will that they are to be involved in her life if I am to transition. To date, one set sends gifts and keeps up to date on her progress and her other godparents are very active in her life and spend quality time with her. I do know they both pray for her and that is what I expected. I do not have godparents and my only concept of them were being people chosen to her raise a child.

  • Reply
    Demetra
    September 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    My kids have God Parents. The kids look to them as people that love them and have a stake in their lives. We picked people that we thought would be great mentors for our kids and they have been wonderful influences in their lives.

  • Reply
    Bobbie
    September 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Bernetta, this is a very good subject. For me, I don’t have any kids-yet! But I would want the individual(s) to be able to take care of my kid in the case if something were to happen to me. Until now I was unclear that “God parents” were someone that helps take responsibility for the child(ren) religion. I just knew that if I was elected to be a child parent I would do for that child as if it was mine…that has been always what I’ve thought.

  • Reply
    MrsTDJ
    September 23, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Yes, our son has a godmother and she is everything that we prayed she would be. We chose my best friend of 15 years. Our son is on the autism spectrum and I have no doubt that his godmother would be a strong an advocate for his health and well being as I am, should something happen to me.
    I have 4 godchildren and I love them equally. I do my best to love, cherish, pray with and for them, and simply be a positive force in their lives. I think that the role of godparent has been marginalized by some to simply be “gift giver”, but it can and should be so much more. #BLMgirl

  • Reply
    Tia
    September 23, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    We didn’t officially give away the title of GodParent for either of our children. We have really close friends that have assumed that role because they love our kids. They don’t live near us but they FaceTime the kids, send gifts and genuinely care about their upbringing and development. I always say that if someone wants to be a part of our children’s lives they will be regardless of their title.

  • Reply
    Kita
    September 24, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I have Godparents and I don’t even speak to her anymore (family issues) she named me. From my understanding they help name you but I don’t know that’s what my mom told me. My kids don’t have any they just have lots of uncles and aunts that are not related by blood.

  • Reply
    Kendra
    September 24, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Both of our boys have great godparents. Neither set are family but they will be in our lives long-term. I think they’ll be those people to advocate and support them (even against us if needed). They have our kids best interests in mind and love them crazy, so I’m good.

  • Reply
    Shatavia
    September 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    My husband and I selected God-parents for our son that closely reflected the morals, ambition, integrity, etc. as our personal beliefs. Initially I, like you, believed that God-parents were there to care for the child in lieu of my absence. But after reading and thoroughly understanding the true meaning of a GP, I’m still glad that I selected the right people for the job. I think it’s imperative that the GP’s life is somewhat of an extension of my own-meaning that all of the things that I would do for my child (discipline, education, spirituality, encouragement, etc.) would be carried out the same way from the GP.
    So to answer the question of whether I think they are necessary?…..Absolutely, if its the right person. There have been times when my husband and I needed another perspective, or an extra set of praying hands and our “Co-Parents” (Our name for them), never hesitated to step in.
    I realize that I can’t do it all on my own, so having that extra trusted set of advisors works for me.

  • Reply
    Yolanda @Seeing It Their Way
    September 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    We don’t put much stock in it. One of my close friends claim them as her godchildren, but our focus was more so on who we would name as guardian in our Will.

  • Reply
    Tiffany @ The Bizy Mommy
    September 26, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    We have never chosen godparents for our children. We’ve talked about it, but it just hasn’t happened. Thank you for sharing this today, I never realized the true definition of a godparent had nothing to do with what we traditionally think it means!

  • Reply
    Katherine G
    October 1, 2013 at 3:10 am

    The Husband and i chose his Co-worker to be our oldest godparent but then he up and moved to Germany and we haven’t heard from him since. Our son doesn’t have any

  • Reply
    Katherine G
    January 17, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    We never officially had a ceremony but we had chose. A former co-worker of my husband’s to be my daughter’s godparent but we haven’t seen him in years. Last we heard he moved to Germany to live with his partner. So I guess we can say she doesn’t have a godparent . We didn’t choose anyone for my son.

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