Monday, December 04, 2006

The godfather

I became a godfather last night (and currently have the voice to go with the part). Having been raised in churches that didn't use this practice, I'd love to hear some stories about having and being godparents. What have you appreciated about the role? What are the potential difficulties? What are your best memories of your godparents? Do you have any advice for us?

12 comments:

michael jensen said...

who is the lucky baby?

byron said...

The little boy of a couple of prospective translators from my year. He is also known as cygnet, if that helps.

Dave Lankshear said...

My thing with the "Godparent" role is what happens when the couple splits up, the kid moves away to a distant country town, and you only see them once every few years. I'm an alien to him, and he's a growing and intimidating teenager to me. "Uncle David's famous 'pull my finger' trick AND 'chopped off finger' trick no longer cuts it with a 15 year old!

But, prayer ... prayer... and more prayer... that's the key. (and the challenge!)

Dave Barrie said...

My godparents gave me a prayer book for my confirmation, which for a 14 year old teenager, wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. Since then, however, I have found it a useful item to have on the shelf, although, I don't think I've ever been pious enough to take it to church with me.

As far as I can tell, being a godparent is a pretty easy gig, the parents do all the hard work and then you get to claim part of the credit if the kid turns out alright.

Anonymous said...

Evangelical churches in the Philippines adopted the Catholic practice of having godparents in children's dedication. I think it is a good practice. I am a godfather to 12 children.

Usually, the parents choose a person to be a godparent because they believe that you can provide good example. They expect you to help in guiding the child to grow in Christian way. The difficulties? They expect to receive gifts from you on Christmas.

I agree that you have to pray hard for him. Since you are the godparent, you have the right to give unsolicited advice, be a friend to the child. Spent some time with him when he's growing up.

Annette said...

Somehow i was just always under the impression that if both my parents died, my godparents were the ones who would then become our parents and raise us. Not sure if that's wholly true, perhaps i was told this at some stage when i was worried i'd have to go to an orphange or something. Anyway, so yes in my mind, it was a very narrow role, though very necessary.

byron said...

Thanks Dave and Dave for some things to avoid (finger tricks, prayer books, teenagers...), and Joey for some positive things. Particularly since this kid is likely to spend large bits of his childhood in a different country to us (as I said, his parents are heading towards becoming bible translators), we're wondering how to approach our role.

michael jensen said...

yes, I have this problem: one godson in perth, one in newcastle, one in New York and me now in England.

And I don't have the spiritual gift of sending presents on time.

Wouldn't it be cool if they each received a monthly postcard from me?

Hmm. Prayer is good.

Anonymous said...

I think if you stay involved at any level whatsoever, that's a good start. I have at least one godparent that I know of (by hearsay), who I met ... once (I think). I actually think I might have had two, but, anyway, as you can no doubt tell, neither of them ever did much of anything at all in terms of being in relationship. So the fact that you even care at all is a good thing in my book.

Patrik said...

I'm the godfather of a one-year old boy. It's quite interesting since I'm supposed to be a baptist, and not really accept his baptism.

Anyway. So far it's been a blast. I gave him OK Computer for his baptism, which his father, a jazz musician, at least claimed he loved.

Yes I consider that an essential part of any religious upbringing.

Mandy said...

The first time I was asked to be a godmother the parents set out their expectations - not that I would send cool birthday or christmas gifts, but that I would commit to praying for the child and them as parents until the child was 21. They also allow me to have an active involvement with the child when I go and stay - at the moment we live the closest we have been in 6 years - 1.5 ous apart. As part of the bed-time routine I get to read the bible and pray with the child. I consider it a gret privledge to partner them in prayer in this way.

Hecta said...

One of our son's godfathers was OS even at the time of the baptism and made his promises via email! We still chose him because we believed he would be faithful in prayer and a godly example in life. He has since helped to keep us accountable in our sons upbringing which is great and much more important than presents.