A while ago, a friend asked how we came up with the names of our children. We get this question a lot and I actually love it. We take naming our children pretty seriously, but to answer this question, I think I need to go back to my own name.
”What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”William shakespeare
Since I was little, my parents have shared the story of my name along with the story of my birthday and more. My parents felt victorious at my birth which is the reason for my name, Victoria. I came after 9 years of a long infertility journey and even after they lost my brother. My name matched their deepest emotions! My middle name, Joelle is feminine for Joel since I was also born on my Uncle Joel’s birthday. The story or reason of how one was named is special to hear, especially as a child. The meaning of the name itself or the Saint for which it was chosen can be equally as special.
In the Bible, names hold a special meaning too. The mission a person has is deeply correlated to their name. Sometimes the name is the one given at birth like John the Baptist. Other times, names are changed to go along with a new mission. Take for example Abraham and Sarah, Peter and Paul, or the best example of a name with meaning, is of course the name of our Savior, Jesus.
“She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”matthew 1:21
Names, especially our surnames, also tell a story. They tell of our heritage, where we came from. In Matthew, we hear the genealogy of Jesus, the lineage He came from. In America, we have lost some of this, but it has always fascinated me. Ancestry and heritage tells us a lot of where we are from and who we are. Part of my heritage is that of Polish immigrants and we don’t have a lot of information other than stories that have been passed on. A large family – many dispersed as they could find jobs and move on. From what we know, we have family spread across the US and beyond who we don’t know.
Our Highest Calling
In Baptism, we receive our most important name as a Child of God. In this new name, we receive our most important mission, to know, love and serve God so we can spend eternity with Him in Heaven. We receive both the name our parents chose and also are named as Christians and Children of God. This gives purpose, connection, and community.
Gifting a name to a child that they will be known by their whole life and ultimately by Our Father in Heaven, is a special and beautiful task. Because we are a little old school and love surprises we don’t find out the gender of our babies. Through pregnancy, we ponder and pray over possible names while our little one grows in utero, in our hearts and family. We of course have a couple of options ready for each gender by the birth day. When we finally get to meet the new little person, their name is chosen then.
The names we chose for our boys were strong saints and had connotations of protection and defending the innocent. We chose a name for our daughter with the Holy Spirit and wisdom in mind. Each child also received 3 names, giving them an extra Saint to protect them!
What do you think? How do you come up with the names of your littles? Let me know in the comments!