In both Christian and Jewish circles, name is of great importance. The Israelites of old knew this importance. They took the choosing of names for their children very seriously. This is because they wanted the name they chose to have special significance to the child. This kind of desire should burn in the hearts of Christians as well, when naming their children. The names we give to our children should have a sense of purpose in the Lord. Be that as it may, lots of Christians are ignorant in this noble practice of naming children. They give names simply because it “sounds nice” or since it is associated with a popular event, certain seasons, animals or personality in our present day. They don’t see it as relating to their child for any significant purpose. Unfortunately, this has led to the shaping of their children’s destiny: contrary to God’s purpose for those toddler’s lives. The reason the naming of their children was so important to the Hebrews was because – a name entails all that you are. It declares your character. And, it relates in some way your purpose in God. Sacred Scriptures so boldly declares in Philippians 2:9 that God has highly exalted Jesus and “given Him a name which is above every name.” Why is the name of Jesus above every name? Because Jesus has revealed all that God is. By the life which He lived and by the words which He spoke, Jesus expressed all that God is. The Scriptures are clear on this. As Hebrews 1:3 declares, Jesus is “the brightness of His (God’s) glory, and the express image of His (God’s) person.” Colossians 1: 15 says, “Jesus is the image of the invisible God.” And the Gospel of John 1:18 states, “No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared Him. “Jesus has declared to us all that God is. He revealed God’s character. This is why God has given Him a name which is above every name. Jesus was also given a name which related to His purpose in God. The name of Jesus means ‘Savior.’ In Matthew 1:23, the Scripture declares that He was also given another name which related to His purpose. The Scripture reads, “And they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is translated, ‘God with us.”‘ Coupling The Naming And Blessing of Our Children We are convinced that the naming of our children is of great importance, therefore, we give our children names filled with meaning. When naming our children, we give them names which will express their character as we envision it from the Lord. We also give them names which relate the purpose that we see God would have for their lives. We want our children to have names which will give them a sense of destiny, as revealed to us by God. Further, we should couple the appropriate naming of our children with the family blessing that is associated with that name. The day of naming should be a solemn day for the family, when, if possible, the whole family gathers and the father of the house prays for the child, and then pronounces a blessing upon the child’s life. After that, the parents can record the child’s name somewhere and keep it safe. The Role of Fathers God has bestowed a special responsibility upon the father, as the ruler of the family. Thus, the father has the duty of naming the children. The angel of the Lord came to Zacharias, not Elizabeth, and told him what to name his son. The angel of the Lord came to Joseph, not Mary, and told him what to name Jesus. That fathers are to name their children is repeatedly declared in Scripture, although there are also times when the mother does so (I Samuel 1:20). It is my earnest prayer that God will show you exactly what to name each of your children. Proverbs 22:1 states, “A good name is to be more desired than great riches.” May you give your children just that. BY KENNEDY O. BARUKH.
In both Christian and Jewish circles, name is of great importance. The Israelites of old knew this importance. They took the choosing of names for their children very seriously. This is because they wanted the name they chose to have special significance to the child. This kind of desire should