We are struggling with deciding upon godparents, how many? If any. Or if we are just going to ask that all present to witness the baptism vow to help spiritually raise Isabel. Sometimes I feel we are working to hard on this issue. I guess we are looking for some guidance and so I emailed one of our ministers at the church community we attend. This is basically the email (with some changes) I sent him because these are all the thoughts running through my head.
I think part of the issue is that daddy had named, but non-existent godparents. They were part of his life, but they were did not seem to take on the spiritual role as godparent because they already had other roles in his life. I had a great godmother who did a wonderful job helping guide me spiritually as I grew up, but a godfather that should have never been asked (but how were my parents supposed to know this - how are we supposed to know who might turn out to be a deadbeat for Isabel?)
I feel a push from family to choose godparents and feel that the expectation is that we would choose family members to be the godparents. Seems like we struggled a lot with the same stuff on deciding on having a baptism.
The next part of the issue is that my family lives so far away that can they really help spiritually guide her and help raise her if they live 6 hours away and only see her a few times a year.
I have been researching baptism online and I am confused that if we choose godparents/sponsors, do we choose 2 or 3? I always had believed it was 2 growing up, but knew people who had three. I am not sure why three was a custom in some religions. I understand if there is three it is 2 of the same-sex as the baby and 1 of the opposite-sex. Why was there three? Could a person just have one godparent?
The only really congruent thing I found everywhere is that no matter how many godparents there were or what religion they were baptized into they had to all have been baptized themselves. Some websites I looked at had detailing that specific religions required that 1 or more godparents be baptized into that particular religion.
What is also interesting is that there is no mention of godparents in the bible (per a couple websites I visited) and thus godparents are not required. I guess the historical origination of godparents came about when adults were converting to Christianity and their own parents were not Christians, they needed to ask people to be their spiritual parents (or godparents) and guide them through their conversion. Later on it was adapted to infant baptisms, but it seems that each religion, church, family has different beliefs about the role of godparents.
We are also not looking at the godparent as the guardian in the case of our demise, which I understand has been a role historically.
We feel that today godparents seem to be mostly an honorary title, but we don't want it to be a one day thing. We want to pick people who want to help us raise Isabel and care about her and her spiritual well being. How do we convey that message to someone if we choose to ask them? Or do we fore go having godparents? How might that choice affect Isabel in the future. Am I thinking about all of this way too much?