Over the last few years I’ve had the honor of sponsoring several people for Baptism and Confirmation. Over my time as a godparent, I’ve asked other sponsors what they do to live out this special vocation.
I’ve assembled all the advice I’ve heard from other godparents and sponsors and come up with the top five ways to godparent like a rockstar…
[See also: 11 of the Best #ThingsJesusNeverSaid]
[See also: 18 Signs You Might Have A LOT of Kids]
1) Pray for them
Praying for my godchildren is my primary responsibility as their godfather. There are repeated exhortations in the Bible to pray for one another and, in his first epistle, St. John teaches that we should even pray for the forgiveness of the sins of others (1 John 5:16-17).
My previous pastor would often ask me whether or not I prayed for my godchildren on a regular basis. It actually became a standard part of my examination of conscience when preparing to go to confession since I knew that the question would be asked!
I would suggest finding a regular time each week to remember your godchildren in prayer. For example, you might make a habit of remembering them during morning prayer on a particular day of the week. Personally, I have found it best to remember them during Mass, particularly during Offertory Procession and the Eucharistic Prayer, offering those under my charge to God. I’ve found that the more regularly I pray for my godchildren, the deeper my care for them becomes and my desire to play an active part in their lives grows.
2) Remember baptism anniversaries
Your godchildren’s family and friends will remember their birthdays. While remembering birthdays is good, pretty much nobody remembers baptisms! This can be your job as a godparent. If, like me, you have a poor memory, put a reminder in your phone’s calendar.
Make it special. It can also be fun! Why not take them on a trip to the swimming pool? After you’ve been splashing about in the pool for an hour, it’s easy to bridge to talking about baptism! Since I don’t live in the same country as some of my godchildren, I once sent one a packet of water balloons and wrote a note telling one of my godchildren to head into the garden and renew his baptismal vows… ?
Not only will your godchildren love you for remembering their baptism anniversary, you will be regularly communicating to them the importance of what happened to them in baptism and that this is something special which should be celebrated.
3) Be involved
Although you have a significant role to play in the lives of your godchildren, their parents will be the primary teachers, both in life and in faith. Therefore support them however you can. Pray for them too.
It’s important to be involved in the lives of your godchildren as much as possible. Most of my godchildren live back in England, which makes this particular challenge rather hard, although Skype does make things easier. Either way, do what you can, as this will help with the next point…
4) Talk to them about Jesus!
Being involved in your godchildren’s lives is one thing, but you are also called by the Church to help them grow in their faith. I know from personal experience that it’s very easy to skip the subject of religion. Don’t do it! When you can, try and go with them to church. Talk to them afterwards about what happened. Share with them your faith journey. Pray with them.
5) Be joyful with them
Don’t be a sourpuss. Be joyful because, as C.S. Lewis said, “…joy is the serious business of Heaven”
David Bates grew up in England raised in the Catholic faith. While at university, through the witness of a Catholic missionary, he experienced a profound deepening of his relationship with Jesus Christ. Renewed in his faith, he graduated from university and began his career as a software engineer. After getting a little bored of his homeland’s incessant rain, David left England, choosing instead the sunshine of southern California. He is a member of Holy Angels Byzantine Catholic Church and he runs a blog RestlessPilgrim.net as a means of sharing his the Catholic faith.
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