Q&A: What’s in a Name?

Question: My husband and I are expecting our first child in a few months and we cannot seem to agree on a name for the baby. What should we do?

Answer: In order to determine God’s best in any situation it is important to first seek His perspective. For example, we learn in Philippians 2:1-2 that God desires there to be unity among His followers. This unity is to be “one in spirit and purpose”, rather than merely reaching a point of agreement or compromise. For believers, unity is the result of pursuing God’s will and purpose rather than seeking their own way. In this instance, it would be advantageous for you and your husband to first evaluate the reasons behind the names you are choosing, to determine if they reflect potential popularity, personal favorites, or spiritual significance.

In further considering God’s perspective, we see throughout Scripture that God is a god of detail and purpose. Therefore, the details of our lives, such as the name given to a child, are important and purposeful to Him. How wonderful it is for a child to know that his or her name was carefully and prayerfully considered.

Also, the meaning of a name can be used to help a child connect with God. For example, the name Gabriella means “God is my strength”. With this name a parent has the opportunity to help their daughter, Gabriella, understand that her very name should be a reminder that God is continually with her, enabling her and strengthening her in every way to accomplish His will.

In another example, the name Anthony means “priceless”. How precious it is for a child to understand that his life is priceless to Jesus, which is demonstrated by the enormous price that was paid for him. The very name Anthony could remind a child of his enormous value and worth to God.

Jeremiah 1:5a says: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. . .” God intimately knows your child because He created him or her. Even though He is placing in your care the child you are expecting, this precious baby actually belongs to Him. For this reason, a child’s name also provides opportunity to honor the one who is blessing you with this amazing gift of life.

Allowing Christ to be at the center of discussions concerning potential names for your child will provide unity and clarity concerning His will.

From time to time I will be answering reader’s questions from a biblical perspective. If you want to submit a question you can do so at carla@carlamaclachlan.com.

As published on Examiner.com