Should You Become a Godparent?
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Someone you know and love has just given birth. Several days after the birth you receive a phone call. It’s the parents asking you if you will be the child’s godparent. You are extremely flattered and touched and you would love nothing more than to accept. However, you know that you should give the offer some thought before you agree. So, should you accept?
Requirements of Being a Godparent
First, you will want to make sure you meet the basic requirements needed to become a godparent. Hopefully, the parents already justified you as a potential choice with their priest and he has already approved it. Generally, the godparent needs to be an Orthodox Christian in good standing. Talk things over with your priest to make sure you are eligible before you say yes.
Overseeing the Spiritual Upbringing of the Child
Are you willing and able to help bring the child up in the Orthodox Church? The godparent is responsible for overseeing the spiritual upbringing of the child. What this entails will depend on the situation.
For example, you may want to talk with your godchild about the Orthodox faith or you can take him to church if the parents aren’t faithful churchgoers. Basically, you will do whatever you need to do to make sure he is brought up to become a faithful Christian.
The road to becoming a Christian is not always an easy one. The child may be presented with obstacles that threaten to turn him away from the church. These can include the media, lack of church attendance, and friends who negatively impact his spiritual development. It is your duty as the godparent to help prevent this from happening.
Be Diligent in Your Own Faith
As a godparent, you will need to set a positive example for your godchild. This means that you are called to be a devout Christian with regular church attendance, an active prayer life, constantly studying scripture, and living an exemplary life.
The best way for your godchild to know what it means to be a Christian is to show him. You can tell him what he is supposed to do, but unless he sees you doing it, the lesson won’t stick. Are you willing to do this?
Even though a lot of things godparents do are traditions rather than necessities, they are still a nice touch. In a way, showing your godchild your generosity is a Christian lesson. By giving him a special religious themed gift, buying him a new outfit, and paying special attention to him, he will understand that good Christians conduct their lives with generosity and a caring heart.
If you are asked to be a godparent, you will want to give an informed response. Do you feel able to carry out the duty of leading the child to Christ? If so, you can agree to the honor of becoming the godparent. Remember that this isn’t always an easy task, but it is important work because you will be responsible for the growth and development of your godchild into the Orthodox Christian faith.
Categorized in: Greek Christening Traditions
This post was written by Greek Boston