Naming your Child: What's in a Name
For years now I have been fascinated by names, their meaning and intent. When my son was born I choose to give him a biblical name. I did so because at that time it was the accepted thing to do. I believe this was the case in most parts of the world. However in more recent times I have noticed that people are naming their children after famous persons, most notably celebrities and athletes, in addition to that many are making up names from both parts of the parents names; Marjon for instance would be a mixture of Mary and John. I note also that there are more names that are unisex, meaning they are used for either a male of female child, [a very dangerous pattern].
You may well ask where I'm going with this? My concern is for the spiritual nature of the naming your child and/or children. In the bible when a child was named it meant, "to be called" and was the same as "to be" due to the close association between a name[s] and the person[s].
Think for a moment on the names attributed to God by the Hebrews. When He is referred to for His supremacy and might, He was called "Elohim" [Psalm 19:1]. He is also called "Jehovah-Rapha" which means "the Lord our healer" [Exodus 16:26]. There is a popular worship song that speaks about "Jehovah-Jireh" and means, "the Lord will provide". It is not my intention to go through the whole list of names for God, but to help you to understand the significance of naming your child.
Naming your Child
Naming your child is a way of speaking into the life of the child, or prophesying over him or her. As I mentioned I gave my son a biblical name and so he is called Matthew. I can't tell you how much it helped me to pray for and over him as he grew up into adulthood. I still pray that he would be "called" as was Matthew from the "receipt of customs" [Matthew 9:9]. I think also of the religious and more recently the new pontiff who decided to take the name 'Benedict'. They all take names that will mean who they are and what we can expect from them based on that name.
I hope therefore to encourage parents to be careful of the name they give to their children. Listed are some names for both male and females that would speak to the character that you want the child to exhibit. The list is not complete, but serves as a guide and motivation to think careful what it is you want your child to be, to do and to become. Not all are found in the bible but based on their source have a special meaning. You will recognise that some of the venerated saints carry these names.
Names and Meaning
Name: Abner - Hebrew in origin and means 'Father of Light' [1 Samuel 20:25] Name: Abraham - 'Father of multitudes' [Genesis 12:1] Name: Albert means 'admirable and noble'. Name: Baldwin - German in origin and means 'bold friend'. Name: Basil - Greek in origin and means 'royal personage' Name: Bruno - German in origin and means 'brown'. Name: Benedict - Latin in origin and means 'blessed by God'. Name: Charles - German in origin and it means 'free man'. Name: Christopher - Originates from Greek and means 'the person that hold Christ's faith'.
Name: Clement - Latin in origin and means 'merciful' Name: Cornelius - This name can be found in Acts 10 and is the Roman centurion that Peter converted. Name: Edward - It means 'successful leader' and comes from the 'old English'. Name: Eric - It means 'strong leader' and is northern Scandinavian. [Name of a former King of Sweden]
Following are the name of a few females:
Name: Agnes - Comes from the Greek 'Hagne' and means 'pure'. Study: Exodus 30:11-16; 1 Peter 1:13-21; Matthew 27:1-5
Name: Agatha - From the Greek 'Agathe' and means good.
Name: Cecilia - Latin in origin and the actual meaning is not known. However, although blind, 'Cecilia' is regarded as a saint in the Roman & Anglo Catholic Church and the patroness of music [As the story is told, she heard heavenly music in her heart when she was married], and is represented in art with an organ or organ-pipes in her hand.
Name: Celeste - Latin in origin and means 'heavenly'.
Name: Chloe - Greek in origin and means 'fresh flower'. The name is found in 1 Corinthians 1:11
Name: Phoebe - Shining light, pure. The name appears in Romans 16:1 and Phoebe's ministry is the foundation for the Ministry of "Parish Nursing".
I stop here not because the names are exhaustive, but because you now have an idea what I'm trying to advocate. You can visit these sites on the Internet: Behind the Name or New Advent or alternatively you can purchase books that have sound knowledge as regards names and the naming your child [ren].