Sunday, May 19, 2013

What’s In a Name?

In the Bible, names were very significant.  Parents named their children after the circumstances of life at that time, what they hoped or desired for their child, a special attribute of God, and sometimes the name was even decided by God before the child’s birth to have special significance to Israel.  I think I have recently become more aware of the meaning and significance of names as I read my Bible.

Elaine’s name probably has the least forethought to significance of our kids. (Maybe as a parent I shouldn’t admit to that!)  I guess we got better at this as we’ve gone along?!?  I just really liked the name Elaine.  I can’t remember where I got it.  It’s not after anyone in particular.  But I wanted an Elaine.  Her middle name is Cristin.  This was purposely named after my best friend, Danielle Cristin.  Danielle was a special gift from God and the direct answer to my prayer for a friend when I went to college.  I loved how she spelled her middle name.  I love that my firstborn, also a special gift from God, gets to share this with my dear friend.

I wrote a post on Nolan’s name after he was born.  You can read my full explanation here.  Again, we really liked the name Nolan, but it isn’t after anyone in particular.  His middle name is Obadiah, meaning servant of the Lord.  This is the significance of Nolan’s name.  We desire for him to be a servant of the Lord one day!

Thing 1 and Thing 2So now we were having twins.  We thought about giving them similar names, like starting with the same letter.  But I really didn’t want to be tongue tied and confused for the rest of my life.  And we didn’t come up with any “twin” names that we really liked.  I think it would have been easier to do that if they were both boys, or both girls.  And then we could have done something like use both grandfathers’ names.  But since we were having boy-girl twins, that didn’t work out.

Nolan was going to be Liberty had he been a girl.  He was due on June 29th.  I was hoping that if he was a girl he would be born on July 4th.  He was not a girl, and he was not born on July 4th.  But what are the chances of getting a July 4th baby?  So we decided that we would use Liberty now, since we really liked the name.  (Do you see a trend here on first names???)

There is significance to Liberty’s name, though.  Here are a couple of verses that use her name:

Liberty's Newborn Portraits square cropIsaiah 61:1 - The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2 Corinthians 3:17 - Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

I know that Isaiah 61 is a prophecy of the Messiah.  And we are {obviously} not hoping that Liberty will be a preacher one day!  And yet, proclaiming the liberty from sin that is in Christ is the job of every Christian.  We do desire for our little Liberty to not only be set free from her own sins one day through faith in Christ, but also that she would be a proclaimer of that salvation to others.  We want her to realize fully the liberty and freedom that is available to everyone who will live the Spirit-filled life.

Liberty’s middle name is Alethia. (We are pronouncing this “ah-lay-thee-uh”). This is the Greek word for truth.  God’s Word is truth, and in knowing that truth there is freedom (John 8:32).

{And just for the record…she is Liberty, not Libby!  Ben doesn’t care for Libby very much, so we are going to use her full name.}

Nehemiah's Newborn Portraits square cropNehemiah’s name was the hardest to settle on.  We had a couple of names on our “list”, but none of them seemed quite right this time.  He was almost Abraham, but Ben finally decided on Nehemiah, named after the Biblical character Nehemiah.  It took a little while to grow on me.  I don’t know any other Nehemiah’s, and it seems like such a big name for a baby!  But now I am so glad that we chose Nehemiah!

Nehemiah of the Bible was a man of prayer.  He was burdened by the Lord to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and he took action to accomplish that very thing, despite immense opposition.  Throughout the book that bears his name, we find him to be a man given to prayer.  The name Nehemiah means “Jehovah comforts” or “consolation of God.”  We desire that our own Nehemiah will likewise be a man of prayer, sharing the comfort of Jehovah with others!

Nehemiah’s middle name is Elliot.  I chose this name after the missionary martyr Jim Elliot, who in 1956 gave his life with four other men trying to reach the Auca Indians of Ecuador for Jesus Christ.  So many times a person starts well, but falls away from God in the end of his life.  I think Jim Elliot was worthy of naming my son after, as he finished his course well.  Jim sought to do the Will of God for his life, even at the expense of his own plans.  He was even willing to lay aside his desire to be married if that would make him more effective for the cause of Christ.  His widow, Elisabeth Elliot, is one of my “heroes of the faith” and many things she has said or written have impacted my life.  I am very pleased to have a son who bears the name Elliot!

And now you know how what’s in a name…

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the birth of your twins! How very special! :) My sister's boy-girl twins will be a year old next week. I've not me them yet since they were born in Canada and my sister and her family are missionaries in Baffin Island. (do you know them??)

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