This is difficult. Very difficult. Les and I have been talking back and forth about a godparent for Gabriel for a couple of months now. I’ve had a couple of people ask already. I know of at least four people who are waiting on the sidelines with hope in their eyes – I can just tell. There are some people who may be completely oblivious to the fact that we are considering them. The list is long. The decision is hard.
Without a doubt, being chosen to be a godparent is a huge honor but it goes way beyond that. It’s not just an honorary title without responsibility. The problem is that oftentimes these days it’s exactly that, an honorary title and nothing more. A godparent is responsible for the spiritual upbringing of the child along with the parents. That’s huge. The godparent is there not only to help guide the child spiritually but also be a living example of their faith. This is not something to be taken lightly by us or the godparent.
I also do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings but I think it’s inevitable at this point given the queue of people hoping to be asked. That weighs on me. I don’t like disappointing anyone…ever…and I don’t see any way around someone being hurt with our decision.
How do you chose? What criteria do you use?
For us, it’s about:
- Regular church attendance
- Holds at least basic Orthodox beliefs & practices them (This seems self evident but just because you say you’re Orthodox does not mean you practice it or believe/understand some of the basics of the faith. Afterall, the entire role of the godparent is to be a spiritual guide for the child in addition to the parents.)
- Will not disappear after the baptism and our child will hear from you once in a blue moon
- Sees the role of godparent as a responsibility and not just an honor
- Is able to travel (This is a practical one for us because we’re not sure where the baptism will be yet. Could be here, could be Oklahoma…don’t know.)
Without a doubt, our decision will be thoughtful and prayerful.