October 27, 2015

God Parenting

Have you ever been asked to be a God-parent or are you a God-parent? Do you have a God-parent?

If you have a God-parent, when was the last time you saw or talked to them? My bet is that you probably haven't seen or heard from your God-mother or God-father since your baptism. Am I right?

A friend and I were discussing God-parenting over coffee this morning and found that we are both remiss in our "duties" as a God-parent (GP), though, to be honest, we never really knew what our responsibilities were.

I don't know who my God-father was/is, though I have a suspicion it was my Uncle Willy. He was my aunt's husband who walked out for a pack of cigarettes and a loaf of bread one day and never returned. I can hardly feel slighted for his lack of God-parenting when he had actually walked out on his four children and wife and stayed gone for decades! Though, I give him credit for setting an example of despicable behavior.

My aunt was my God-mother and, after asking around, I found her to probably be the most active of most God-parents. When I spent the weekend with my cousins, we (cousins) would walk to church to attend Mass. Upon our return home, my aunt would always inquire as to what the Homily was about,
but we never actually discussed the meaning of the day's sermon with her. I think she asked just to make sure we made it to church instead of skipping services to grab a donut and a soda.

I am a God-mother, twice over. As a God-parent, I have to admit, I suck!  My oldest God-child grew up on the other side of the Rockies from me ( not a good excuse ) and I only saw him three times; all three occasions put me on the east side of the continental divide to attend funerals. Our whole relationship can be restricted to an hour shopping trip to help him buy a shirt for our grandmother's funeral.  My youngest God-child is local and I have no excuse except 99% laziness and 1% not knowing what is expected of me.

In researching "God-parenting," I have discovered that most GP's don't really know what is expected of them or if there is anything expected of them. Some websites instruct that a GP is to take over the spiritual education of a child if the parent is 'absent'.  In the "olde" days, GP's were there to become the guardian of the child if the birth parents were to pass away.

Some of us look at it as an honor but what do we do to earn the honor, take our honorary, thought invisible, blue ribbon and walk away.

I like the idea of a spiritual mentor, depending on your Faith or spiritual practice, one could be a 'God'-parent, a Spiritual Mentor, a Fairy God-mother or whatever the parents choose. Knowing that there is someone they trust to help them guide their child through the maze of life's challenges would be incredibly reassuring.

Have you asked someone close to you or in the family to help you mentor your children? If you have, what are the expectations for that person? 


  1. Good topic Toni. I met my godmother once as a kid and never heard from them again. My godmother is my eldest brother who was 14 at the time. Not sure how that happened but it did. I always was under the impression that the rle was to ensure spiritual/religious upbringing in the event the parents are gone. Who knows!

    1. Thank you, Barb. It was hard and kind of weird writing about it and actually trying to figure it out. My Catholic/Christian friends all think of me as a little woo-woo and my metaphysical/wiccan friends giggle about my participation in organized religion.


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