Are you a godfather

Become a godfather: All the important information and tips

We explain here what this honor means for you and what is important before you accept the office. Plus: 10 things that make a real godfather.

A important contact person and role model for the child and a loyal friend and supporter to parents: This is how many imagine the perfect godfather. If there is also talk of baptism, that comes for the godfather Shared responsibility for religious upbringing added. Quite a lot of tasks! Are you supposed to be a godfather? Then the best thing to do is to ask first what the parents of your future godchild are looking for. An uncle who gives generous gifts for birthdays and school enrollment, someone who should shoulder custody if they should die young or a close confidante with whom the child can have a lot of fun and experience crazy things? Once the expectations are clearly formulated, you can make a much better decision. And if you want to take on the sponsorship, we will give you our tips on how to become a great godfather.

What is a godfather?

A godfather is chosen by the parents. He should accompany the child as an additional adult caregiver into adulthood and be a good role model for him. Today you might think first and foremost of someone who comes around the corner with the biggest present on their birthday. The traditional role of godparents, however, has a more serious background. Because a godfather and a godmother should step into the breach in an emergency, if both parents should both die young. There is no legal obligation to assume guardianship, but in the Christian tradition this was one of the main functions of godparents.

As a godfather, the godfather is also responsible for the Christian upbringing of the child. It goes without saying that he himself has to be a member of the church in question. Parents, godfather and godmother are the adult representatives of the small child at the baptism. They testify to God for his acceptance into church and community and promise, see to it that they become a good Christian.

For uncles and everyone who loves them!

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Can you become a godfather without being baptized?

A godfather and a godmother are registered in the church register as official godparents. But that's about all. The adoption of the sponsorship does not have any legal consequences. Rather, it is about a moral task towards the child and his parents. And that works even without a church blessing.
As parents, you can also choose sponsors if you are not in church and there is no baptism. If you discuss your concerns seriously with those you have chosen to accompany your child in life, they will surely exercise the office just as reliably as an official godfather.
However, if you are asked whether you also want to take over the sponsorship in a religious sense, it depends on the denomination: In the Catholic Church you have to be a member in order to be allowed to take over the sponsorship. For a Protestant baptism, it is sufficient if the godfather or godmother is a member of a Christian church, so they do not necessarily have to be Protestant. You prove your membership with a so-called sponsorship certificate, which you can apply for in your community.

Who should become a godfather and how do you ask?

With or without a baptism, becoming a godfather or godmother is a big deal. The role brings with it some obligations and it simply takes a lot of timeif you really want to fill it out. As a parent, you should keep in mind that not everyone is ready for this. Therefore, it certainly makes sense to talk to the chosen one in private and not to ask him in large groups at the next family celebration. After all, you want him to agree out of real conviction and not under social pressure.

If you want to make sure that the contact with your godfather and godmother will last as long as possible, relatives are a good choice. Even if there is an argument, the family bond lasts for a lifetime. When it comes to friendships, things look different after a few years. Many choose therefore for brother or sister as godparents. Here, too, the overlaps in matters of upbringing and values ​​are often particularly large. The grandparents can theoretically also be godparents. However, then the question of age comes into play. After all, you want your godfather and godmother to steal horses with the young godchild.

If your potential godfather has a sense of humor, you can ask him to become a godfather with a funny present. You are sure to find a number of suggestions in online shops. For example a baby body with the imprint “Finger weg! I have a crazy godfather and I'm not afraid to use him! "Or with a scratch card on which the question:"Do you want to be my godfather?"Appears or a cup with the imprint:"Only great brothers are promoted to godfather". The future godfather will certainly feel flattered and the introduction to the subject is not too serious.

What else is important when choosing?

By choosing a sponsor, many parents also want to encourage the chosen person to bond with the young family. This increases the chance that the friends will still have a close relationship with them in years to come, or that siblings will get a little closer.

However, it is just as important to keep the child's needs in mind. Say: Can the chosen one be good with children? Will he be able to do something with a toddler, is he the right one to take on responsibility even in crisis situations and can an older child have a lot of fun with him? Try to empathize with your aging child, but don't be so strict about it. Of course, a godfather also matures with his new role.

The exclusivity factor is important for children. It is especially important for siblings to have a godfather and godmother to themselves. It is therefore best for parents to choose their own godparents for each child. Ideally, they have no other sponsored child and only have time for one. Formulated a bit exaggerated the ideal person for a godfather is from the parents' point of view a young, cheerful, child-loving relative or friend who has no children or godchildren of his own. If he is then still financially secure, that is not priority 1, but in an emergency it is not bad either.

What are the responsibilities of a godfather?

  • Be a moral role model: Help the child to orientate themselves in life, especially on important points, but also in the small questions of everyday life.
  • Adopt religious education: Convey the most important Christian values ​​to the godchild in a credible way (if you are also a godfather).
  • Be solid as a rock and comfort your soul: To be there when there is a crisis, to represent the parents when they are under pressure, are ill or have to look after a sibling more, meet with the sponsored child or make phone calls when they are worried.
  • Be a savior in need: If the parents do actually die young, consider taking custody if no other siblings, grandparents, or other relatives want or have a closer bond with the child.
  • Honor days of honor: Visit the child on important events and bring them a gift (birthdays, school enrollment, communion, confirmation, confirmation, graduation, etc.). The child is usually more happy about things to do together than about expensive gifts.
  • Maintain relationship: Be willing to develop a deep relationship with your sponsored child, both as a young child and as an adolescent.
  • Act as mediator: Step in as a mediator if there are problems between parents and sponsored children.

Can you also refuse?

The list scares you off, doesn't it? Yes, being a godfather means taking responsibility and can cost you a lot of time even in unexpected moments. If you already have children yourself and are responsible for your family, if you know that you will soon be going abroad for a longer period of time or just moving very far away, if you really have no connection with children, you may not be the right person for them Role.

Of course, it's not easy to actually say no then. After all, it's an honor to be asked. But the parents - and especially the child - do not benefit from it if you do not want to or cannot fill out the sponsorship later. Honesty simply lasts the longest here. In addition, the rejection does not mean that you cannot still be there for the child. As is well known, it takes a whole village to raise a child. Nobody prevents you from getting involved and contributing a part - even without being an official godfather.

Before you accept or reject it, however, it is important that you do this Conversation with the parents to search. Maybe they have their own ideas about your role as a godfather. And they can certainly match your expectations.

Do you stay godfather for life?

From the point of view of the church, your office formally ends with the confirmation or the confirmation of your protégé. Then the religious upbringing is finished and your sponsored child is of religious age. In a moral sense, of course, it would be nice if your relationship continued. Because the difficult step into real adult life is still ahead of your sponsored child at the age of 14 or 15. In this phase in particular, young people can no longer be told much by their parents. Great when the godfather can coach something from the outside and act as a bridge between parents and child if necessary.
P.S. If a godfather leaves the church, the godfather's office expires in a religious sense.

What can sponsors give?

Which presents are suitable for your sponsored child depends on how old he is and whether you are also a godfather.
For worldly active godparents are personal gifts beautiful, which still have a meaning even after years.The better you know the child, the more ideas you have about what they like.

Traditional gifts related to Church and Faith:

  • Christening chain with engraving
  • Christening candle
  • Children's Bible
  • Hymn book
  • Baptismal register
  • Prayer cubes
  • Necklace with cross

For worldly active godparents are personal gifts beautiful, which still have a meaning even after years. The better you know the child, the more ideas you have about what they like.

  • Photo album with beautiful moments with your sponsored child
  • T-shirts with godfather-uncle print
  • Books that are important to you, with a personal dedication
  • Savings book or other financial investment with a regular savings rate
  • A quality wristwatch

If you want to put a happy smile on the face of your godchild above all, it is better to To give time and to create traditionsthat make your relationship very special:

  • Trips to the playground or the zoo
  • Small hikes in nature
  • Visiting an amusement park or theater
  • Mini vacations without parents
  • A visit to the cinema or to an ice rink
  • A day in the swimming pool with an ice flat rate
  • A concert visit of his / her favorite band
  • Housekeeping together while the parents go on vacation

How do you become a great godfather?

Have you decided to sponsor a child into adulthood? That's great. Now you are wondering how you can live up to the office and its responsibilities? Very easily: Take an honest look at your own childhood. You had a godfather who always outshone your parents with the most expensive gifts, but otherwise hardly bothered? And your brother had another godfather who didn't have that much money but went on cool trips with him and talked to him on the phone on a regular basis? If you'd rather have had the other uncle, your assignment is clear, right? Time conjures up a close relationship, not expensive gifts. With this in mind: Have fun with your sponsored child!

Sources used

www.katholisch.de: Do godparents know their important task?
www.evangelisch.de: Child Baptism - Who can become a sponsor?
www.süddeutsche.de: But not the right one

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