Rules For Choosing Godparents- It is an exciting time when you have a baby. When choosing godparents, it can be stressful. You want to pick godparents that will be there for the rest of your child’s life. Depending on if you are religious or not, there can be rules for choosing godparents. Let’s break down some of the rules for choosing godparents, whether you are looking for a godparent that is for religious purposes or not.
We all have heard stories about people who have chosen a godparent for their child and that godparent, for one reason or another, is not in the child’s life anymore. For the child, that can be confusing and for parents it can be scary. Parents choose godparents for many reasons, but one reason in particular is that if the parents pass away, godparents will step up. We want to make a choice that will hopefully last for a lifetime. Let’s talk rules we have for choosing godparents, depending on your situation.
What Is A Godparent?
A godparent for religious families is a couple or close family members or close friends that are chosen to be religious guides and mentors to their godchild for the remainder of their life. The child can come to these parents if there are any questions about their religion and the godparents are to guide them down a Godly path. Sometimes, if the parents are to pass away, godparents will adopt their godchildren and raise them.
Over time, the idea of a godparent extended outside of a religious faction. For non religious families, a godparent is there as a bonus parent for your child who will love, guide and be there for your child through out their life. Godparents usually have similar parenting styles to the parents. If something was to happen to the parents, the godparents would step up and be a parent figure to the godchild.
Rules For Choosing Godparents
Depending if your godparent choice is a religious one or not, you need to consider these rules or suggestions before choosing a godparent. There may be many people in your life you can consider being a godparent, or you may be struggling to find someone. Remember, some rules will work great for some families while others may not work as well. Different families have different needs. Choose the rules that work best for your family and stick to them. Here are some great rules for religious and non religious families to consider before choosing godparents:
Choose Someone Close To Your Family
Have you ever heard that people are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime? Many people are meant to be in our life temporarily. It does not always have to end badly, people change, they move away or they start new endeavors. Its normal to have people in and out of your life. However, it is best to choose a godparent for your child who will be a constant in your child’s life.
They do not necessarily have to live close, as with modern technology, you can keep up great relationships through out your life with very few visits. However, it is important to choose someone who is close to your family.
When you have a family member or a very close family friend as a godparent, you already have the close family bond. You understand each other’s beliefs and parenting principles and you generally agree with them.
Qualities In A Godparent You Want:
-Is positive. Lifts your family up always.
-Trustworthy- Someone who you can trust to guide your children to make good choices.
-You have known for a long time. If this is a friend, there is always a honeymoon stage of friendship where the first few years are great. You have gone through ups and downs with this person and known them in different situations.
-You Share the same Values- You want someone to reflect your families values and what is important to you all.
-Someone who respects differences- You will never find someone exactly like you. But this person loves the similarities and embraces your differences.
Do Not Choose A Godparent For Personal Gain
This is a big one! Sometimes, parents choose their boss or someone who is notable and in their lives as a godparent. They believe that this can create bonds for their business or help them in the work field or even offer them personal clout.
Many rising business starts will offer godparent status to a close colleague, business client or even boss. This may sound cringy to some, but to others it is a practice that is going to help their family business get to the top. This can be tricky as many business relationships are temporary.
It is best to make the decision which would be the best for your child and avoid ulterior motives for choosing a godparent.
Don’t Choose A Godparent That Is Too Young
Families come in all shapes and sizes, and ages! Sometimes, you may feel the urge to ask a much younger sibling to be a godparent to your child. Is there an age requirement to be a godparent? If you are choosing a godparent based on your religion, their may be an age requirement to be a godparent. Generally, you do not want to pick an older child to be a godparent. Children may not be able to meet your standards of being a godparent because they are children themselves! Choosing someone who is over eighteen is best, but if there is a very special teenager like a sibling or a cousin. consider that person as a potential godparent.
Decide What You Want In A Godparent
The best way to choose someone who will be the best godparent to your child is to decide what you are looking for in a godparent. If you are a religious family, it would be important (in some faiths, necessary) to choose someone as the same faith as you. For other families, it may be best to choose someone who is close by, if you value face to face time with your child. Alternatively, for others, they may want someone who is within their family, Lists can be different for everyone but it is what you and your family value that determines what this list can be.
Religious faiths may require certain rules from your potential godparent. From taking godparent classes to being an adult, active member of the faith, it depends on the religion and sometimes even the church.
Make sure to outline to your godparent to be what you are looking for in a godparent. If you want someone to be there at every birthday party and dance recital and choose a godparent who lives 2000 miles away, this may not be feasible. If you are looking for kind guidance from a trusted adult through out your child’s life then distance knows no bounds. Ask yourself what you see for your child’s godparent and be sure to communicate those needs clearly to your potential godparent.
These are just a few of the rules for godparents that can help you choose the perfect one for your child.
Older Rules For Godparents
Many years ago, godparents played a significant religious role in your life and for many families they still do. However, there were also some rules that applied depending on the region that you lived in that are quite interesting. Here are some of those unwritten rules that existed and their reasons why. They may apply to you today!
Godparents Must Be Married or Siblings
For some faiths and about 40 years ago, it was more common to choose godparents that were married. That means you would choose a husband and wife to be your child’s godparents. The reasoning was, if the parents were ever to pass away, the child could potentially move in with their godparents without having a custody battle with another godparent. As a family, it was believed, the child would have a second family that they can rely on and feel apart of.
If there were no suitable married couples, parents can choose siblings, like an unmarried brother and sister to be godparents. Again, this would mean the child would be with the family. Back then, many unwed siblings lived at home with their parents and it would be assumed the child could grow up in the home of the siblings if their parents were to pass away.
Family values were very important and back then, families tended to parent more similarly.
You Must Choose Family Over Friends
This was not every family, but generally, people loved when godparents were in the same family. Families used to have similar parenting practices, live closer to one another and be able to provide a family community with ease. People grew up in the same neighborhoods as their extended families for the most part. Friends were wonderful but friends come and go, family was forever. The extended family may worry about the morals and values of friend godparents and extended family had more of a say on what was going on with a baby then they do today.
These rules did not apply in every family, but they applied in many. These are just a few of the rules you may have encountered just forty years ago in families.
Godparent Requirements for Catholics
In the Catholic faith and in other faiths, godparents are definitely there to guide your child and help them through their life but there is a major religious component involved as well. This can vary by country, region and even church, but here are the general rules of being a godparent to a Catholic baby.
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The Godparents May Have To Attend Godparent Classes
This may not apply with all Catholics but some churches require (and some strongly encourage) the godparents to attend baptism classes with the parents and learn more about their role as godparents.
The Godparents Are Announced At The Baptism
The godparents attend a baptism for the child and stand up to say they are the godparents of this child in front of the child’s church during the Christening.
Both Godparents Should Be Catholic
Ideally, both godparents should be Catholic. In Catholicism, the most important purpose of a godparent is to raise and guide a child through the Catholic faith.
Many churches allow one godparent to not be Catholic so as long as one godparent is Catholic, it is fine. The church does not allow non Catholic godparents to represent a child. Talk to your priest for more details.
They Are Both to Guide Your Child Through Catholic Faith
When choosing a godparents for your children, there are many factors to consider. On top of it all, being a Catholic godparent traditionally means guiding your godchild with Catholic morals and values. If one godparent is Catholic and you are a traditionally Catholic family, your child can go to their Catholic godparent for advice.
Godparent Should Have Completed Their Sacraments To Confirmation
It is important for the Catholic godparent to have completed their sacraments up to confirmation. This includes Baptism into the Catholic faith, first confession, first communion and confirmation.
Can grandparents be godparents
This is a question that pops up from time to time. Many people will say, no, do not choose grandparents to be godparents. A lot of people attest that godparents should be younger so they can be in the child’s life longer. It is not traditional for grandparents to be godparents but in today’s world, finding a person who will guide your child for at time is a blessing. If it makes you and your family happy, choose a grandparent to be a godparent if you like. Times are changing and we should always do what is in the best interest of our children.
Rules For Choosing Godparents
if you are choosing godparents for religious purposes, many of the rules will be asked from your faith. If you are looking for a godparent for your child and are seeking a non religious godparent experience, these rules may help guide you make the best decisions for your family. In the end, it is you and the potential godparent who agree on terms that is best for being a close and important part of your child’s life.