Our names are important to us. They can be a strong positive source of identity. This is certainly true for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. When we know His names, we know a lot about Him.
The identity link to our names is among the reasons I wish more parents would be as thoughtful and purposeful when naming their children as some of my friends have been.
Especially when children know their name’s heritage, dreams parents had for them are reinforced when they hear their name. If your children’s names are significant, make sure they know the reasons. Tell them the relevant stories.
For my first example, let me share a short paragraph from pages 131-132 in the book Jill Savage and I wrote, No More Perfect Kids. I love the reason Jay and his wife named their son Jamison.
Kids’ names are important because they’re the first labels they’re given. If your kids don’t know why you chose the names you did for them, share your reasons, especially if you named them for a reason or because the name held significance. Kathy’s friend Jay and his wife named their son Jamison. Jamison was present as Jay told Kathy about his name’s origin and how much he had prayed for a son. Although it’s pronounced with a short i sound, his name means “Jay my son.” Although Jamison already knew the story, you should have seen his face while his dad explained it to Kathy. The connection between the father and son was beautiful and obvious.
And, how about the decision my friends, Michael and Meredith made? They’re expecting their second daughter and have named her Moriah Renee. They explain their choice this way: Abraham offered his son Isaac on Mount Moriah, where God provided a ram in the thicket as a substitute and it is near where He would ultimately provide His own Son as the perfect sacrifice to be the Savior of the world. The name means “God is my teacher.” Renee means “reborn.”
And now let me share about Zion Daniel, the son of David and Lindsay Eaton. They’re pictured above. In David’s words:
Let’s start with Daniel. Daniel means “God is my judge” and in ancient times he was quite a man of God. He was full of wisdom, courage, conviction, vision, and faithfulness. He was a shrewd leader and a servant of the people.
The name Daniel also means a lot to Lindsey and I because some of the most important men in our lives have that name! We knew that we HAD to name our first son Daniel just to honor them.
– Daniel Gee … Lindsey’s loving father.
– Conan Daniel Gee … Lindsey’s steadfast brother.
– Daniel Eaton … my annoying brother 😉 … that I deeply respect and admire.
– Jeremiah Daniel Callihan … the other cofounder at Axis who is a dear friend.
– Daniel VanValkenburg … an incredible friend from college and lifelong friend.
… and of course there are a host of other amazing Daniels in our life as well …
And the name Zion. It is a name with many meanings. Some think it means “bald dry place” as in the top of a mountain, but we prefer the meaning “monumental” or “fortress” that other scholars ascribe to the name. It is actually not a Hebrew word … but rather predates Israel. However in the Bible it is a very important geographical place and a concept. It represents Jerusalem, the City of David, and is the place of worship and redemption for Israel. It also embodies the future hope of followers of Jesus, of a restored world and the eventual city of God where God dwells with humanity.
One final thing that we particularly like. Any ancient temple like the temple on Zion or the temple location at Shiloh, our daughter’s name, was considered a dwelling place for God. It was a place where the veil between heaven met earth was thin. We like the idea of our children representing an overlap or intersection between heaven and earth.
I believe Zion Daniel, Moriah Renee, and Jamison are blessed to have thoughtful parents and rich stories and meanings assigned to their names. I’d love to know about your name or names you’ve given your children. Please comment below. Let’s encourage each other.