WHAT IS IN A NAME?
There have been many times in my travels that I met a person, learned their name and wondered "What were their parents thinking?" My mother actually went to a school with two sisters whose last name was Hog. You can't help your surname but these poor girls had been named by their parents Ima and Ura. True story by my Mom. Can you imagine?
Some parents name their children after rock stars or movie stars they admire or famous historical figures. Sometimes a name is carried down in a family as a tradition. But seldom does it seem that parents actually think of the effect of a name on a child. Take Ima and Ura Hog for instance. How many times were they laughed out of a room when they introduced themselves? That had to have an effect on their self-worth! Shakespeare said "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" but who would try to smell it if had been named vomit or manure?
In the Bible names and their meaning often told of the vision of the child's future that God or the parents had. Their very name gave purpose, vision and worth to a child and they would be reminded of that every day of their lives.
Sometimes you have to look a little deeper into a name to find the valuable purpose for the person. A man named Wayne asked what value or vision could come from his name. Wayne means wagon and seemed purposeless to him. But what does a wagon do? It carries burdens for others and brings needed supplies. Suddenly he had purpose and great value in ministering to the needs of others and seeing that as God's vision for him.
I have found that everyone, no matter their age, is interested in knowing the meaning of their name. Shortly after meeting someone you can ask "Do you know the meaning of your name?" Now, I suggest you quickly google it on your phone before asking the question and think for a minute of the life purpose that name could represent. This question and answer is a great way to show anyone that God has a unique purpose for them in life showing His love for them.
My son met a young man whose name was pronounced Ahhmon. He had given his life to Christ and was deeply ashamed of his name because his parents had named him after a Hindu god. I asked my son how he spelled it. The answer was AMEN. I told my son to tell him that he wasn't named after a Hindu god, he instead, bore the name of the Lord God Jehovah who calls Himself the "Yea and Amen". He is the worker and finisher of all things turning all things to good in our lives. That young man had a new and joyful purpose in his life.
So what is in a name? I believe, life purpose. So carefully think as you name a child or your business or farm or even your car. And do some research if you don't already know the meanings of the names in your family. Give each one the gift of understanding of their purpose and vision through their name.