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The Big Deal About Names

My precious bride Tiffany will give birth to our first child this summer, and I think it is about time that we pick out a name for him. One of the first questions people ask is, “So, what are you going to name him?” We’re not the first to face this age-old dilemma. Naming children has always been a significant decision that should never be reached too quickly. We’ve read a few naming books, deliberated endlessly, and have finally narrowed the options down to two names, that is, unless we think of something better between now and then. It would help matters if God would send an angel down to tell us what to name him, “You shall call him Bubba” (or something like that).

Tiffany believes that when he is born he will come out looking like either one of the two names we chose, as if people with the same names always look alike (just like Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson look alike). I have shared this “scientific” naming process with others, and their responses generally fall into one of two camps, depending on their gender. Men tend to think this naming strategy has some serious flaws because . . . well . . . all newborns look alike. Women, on the other hand, usually completely understand the value of this approach.

Why do we make such a big deal about names? Names identify us. Names set us apart. Names say a lot about who we are. That’s why kids (and adults) are devastated when they are called cruel names. Those stinging words are never forgotten. But as Believers in Jesus Christ, the Bible calls us names we should never forget. We are called his child (John 1:12), Christ’s friend (John 15:15), a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), a saint (Eph 1:1), and a citizen of heaven (Phil 3:30). Understanding what God calls you will dramatically impact your life.

Andy Knight

About the Author

Andy is the user interface designer for YouVersion, the Bible App. He has a passion for sharing God's story of grace and freedom through the internet. Andy lives in Roswell, GA, with his wife and three sons. You can follow him on Twitter at @andyknight.