What’s in a Name?

Before my sons were born, my husband and I spent hours scanning baby name books. We studied all of the various meanings and origins but just couldn’t find names we agreed on. We prayed God would guide us to the right names for our boys, and in both cases, in the nick of time, the right name fell into place.

Our oldest, Aidan, is an elementary schooler with uncontainable energy. He’s always in the middle of several creative projects, is a natural-born comedian, and when he gets passionate about something… let’s just say you’re not going to talk him out of it. The meaning of his name? Little Fire. How perfect a descriptor for our red-headed firecracker.

Our youngest, Bennett, had some respiratory issues at birth. We intentionally chose a name for him that translated to “little blessed one” because we wanted that banner of good health over his life. He has turned out to be both blessed and a blessing to his family and friends and is the picture of good health today.

Names are so important.

To grant someone a name in Biblical times was to speak a promise over their life. Abram (“high father” or “exalted father”) became Abraham (“father of a multitude”). Jacob (“to follow” or “to supplant”) became Israel (“triumphant with God”). Even Jesus’ name (“to deliver” or “to rescue”) emphasized that He was the savior of His people.

So what does the Bible have to say about who you are? If you’re a Christian, it says:

You are God’s child. John 1:12

Sin no longer holds you captive. Romans 6:6

In Christ, you are made new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Your citizenship is in heaven. Philippians 3:30

Does it change your outlook to know your true identity?

Thanks so much, Amre, for hosting me on your blog today!

Guest blog post by Author Shaen Layle

To leave a comment, please click on the above words What’s in a Name and scroll down.  Thank you!  🙂


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Shaen Mehl
3 years ago
Reply to  Joy Gordon

Thank you, Joy! So honored to be on Erma’s blog ?

Joy Gordon
4 years ago

Oh my goodness! An amazing article.

4 years ago

So sorry for my late replies to both of you, Dave and Mary Pat, but I didn’t see comments earlier. Completely user error on my part!

And aren’t you glad we have that bedrock of identity in Christ? I’d be utterly swept away without it.

4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

True enough, Dave! ?

4 years ago

Elijah told Milkah they could use the names for their children which she picked out long ago. “Deborah, Barak, Gideon—”

“Oh, stop. I’d never saddle our children with names like that. They’d spend their whole life dreaming, waiting to do something grand. Our children will have common names like Abdel and Berekiah and Carmel, so they can get the weeds pulled and the water hauled before breakfast.”

4 years ago

Names are so important! Have to admit, I gave my children classic names because I wanted people to take them seriously–no frivolous or silly names in our household. But I agree with Shaen. Our very best name has to do with who we belong to–so happy He’s called me HIS.

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