3/24/16: What Shall We Name the Children?


Over my 31-year teaching career, I have experienced some pretty interesting student names. Some parents have searched baby name books for unique names, some have turned to another language to find a distinctive name, and at times they have creatively invented a moniker by combining a part of the mother’s name with a part of the father’s.

Since words have meaning, names do too. It was important to me to name my boys something that would speak to who they were, not only to me, but to God and to the world. I didn’t know them before birth, but God did, so I asked God what to name them. What had He placed within them that should be reflected in their names? I pray that Matthew, gift of God, my firstborn, will find an outlet to use his talents as a gift to the world, to turn the hearts of people toward seriously thinking about issues that matter to God. His media arts degree from Biola University should come in handy. Mark, mighty warrior, my second son, has proven not only to be good at sports, but is using his understanding of what it takes to be an athlete—discipline, sacrifice, teamwork, etc.—for the betterment of himself, his family, and those with whom he comes in contact. His business degree from Southern University is advantageous as he advances in his sales management career, his budding acting avocation, and as the guiding light of his family.

I knew what to name my sons the same way Elizabeth and Zacharias knew what to name theirs: God led us to those names because of what He had decided for them. Before John the Baptist was even conceived, the angel Gabriel told Zacharias, “…your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John… he will be great in the sight of the Lord… He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God” Luke 1:13-16 (NKJ). This was a pretty clear revelation, so when the baby was born and the eighth day came around to circumcise and name him, his parents were clear when asked what the baby’s name would be and why.

  • His mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John.” Luke 1:60 (NKJ)
  • And [Zacharias] asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, ‘His name is John… And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways” Luke 1:63 and 76 (NKJ).

When we call our children by their names, we also call them the meaning of those names. Whenever I talk to or about Matthew and Mark by name, I am reaffirming who God made them to be. “Hello, Gift of God,” I am saying to Matthew, “how has your day been?” “Mighty Warrior,” I am speaking over Mark, “are you eating well?” And when Elizabeth and Zacharias spoke to John they were saying, “Preparer of the Way of the Lord, it’s time to come in for dinner.”

Let’s start calling our children that which God made them to be. In this way, we will reaffirm their gifts and calling, and encourage them toward lives of service to their Master.


©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

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~ by sanewriter on March 24, 2016.

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