My associate and her husband are expecting their first child. It is a surrogate pregnancy and is expected to be a girl. The company they founded sponsored a contest to provide the most creative name. One popular choice combined their first names, Noah and Belinda…Nolinda!
We all laughed at the quirkiness of the name but in all seriousness, the name does communicate a shared desire amongst all their friends and associates that the child will combine the best traits of both parents.
We always name our children at or closely around the time of birth. We chose names that signify desirable traits or to honor people who have played important roles in our lives. But what if we named our children after they were a few years old, or even more absurdly, when they were adults? By then, personalities would be evident and a name might be reflective of a person’s true nature, rather than potential. If I was to be named as an adult, my name might be Pride or Selfish.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named…
Ephesians 3:14-15 (ESV)
Jesus gave His disciples new names when they joined Him. The names embodied noble and encouraging personality traits such as steadfastness or boldness. I often wonder what kind of name Jesus would have given me had I been present as one of His disciples. Would it have been a name that combines the best traits of my Heavenly Father and my earthly family? Would it have been a name given in anticipation of the potential that Jesus saw in me? I am thankful that God sees my potential rather than focusing on the state of my present life and my many failures.
When she is born, Nolinda will be given a new name, one that will embody the best traits of her parents and look forward to a blessed life. When I was born again as a child of God, I can look ahead to the day when I will learn the name that God has given me. I no longer need to be ashamed of my past but can stand sanctified and redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
By God’s grace and mercy, my name will be a reflection of who He wants me to be.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.