Sunday, June 15, 2014

WHAT IS IN A NAME?



The biggest excuse I gave most times for not starting a blog, was the fact that I could not come up with a good name for it. Most names I came up with had already been used elsewhere. Here’s the thing, I wanted my blog name to be unique, something that would be pleasant to hear and want to look at. All this was until I realised that the content that was to make up my blog, would give it an identity more than the name I would give it. However, would a rose really by another name still smell as sweet? What is in a name anyway?

Weeks later, I’ve been pondering on this issue. What is in a name? We want the best names for our children. In fact some parents spend an entire nine months just looking for a good name to give the child they are expecting. Others already know the names they will give to their children way before they are conceived. I must have thought about baby names a long time ago when we would make fake families as children and play parental and children roles in them. My sister and I also played a big role in coming up with a name for my brother; where the basis of choice was names from the bible. What is in a name?

I have had discussions severally with my friends on whether or not to take up the names of our future husbands. The modern independent woman wants to retain her names and would only go to the extent of adding a fourth name to the already existing three. The other woman drops her surname and takes up another, belonging to her new husband.
The other issue I have encountered with names, is name dropping.  I have heard stories of people who dropped their names because the meaning wasn’t pleasant. One was called Wanjohi (Kikuyu for alcoholic). He was afraid that he would end up like his father, an alcoholic. It is also common for people to drop surnames obtained from their fathers if their fathers play no role in their upbringing. 

If you look closely at the genealogies in the Bible, names are very important. They are the very source of an identity. Israelites are called so because they are descendants of Israel. Where I come from, families are known by their names and their traits are likened to their reputations. In genesis 17:5, God changes the names of Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah. In 1 Samuel 25:25, Nabal is likened to his name; he is a fool, just like his name. In other instances, we see babies given names from God before they are even born. This simply means that God takes names seriously. The meaning of your name has relevance to your life. When we get born again, we get a new identity because we are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God; we have Christ in us. Jesus promises to do whatever we ask in his name: not because it’s a magic word, but because he is in us, we are in intimate fellowship with him. 
The relationship of Christ and the church is likened to marriage. I believe that just as we gain a new identity in Christ, so do we when we get married. I will drop my surname for another, because a new identity comes with new responsibility, new vulnerability and vulnerability, as I came to understand, is the cost we pay for deep fellowship.

At the edge of a cliff there is only a vast sea and a skyline. Come to edge and fly. Get out of your comfort zone with indomitable will. Let’s discover what the Lord has for us; let us mount on wings like eagles and soar. There are no limits. For His glory.

6 comments:

  1. Some pretty deep insights...especially the significance of names in our spiritual entities. We should get back to God and make sure we are named according to His plan for our lives.

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  2. Awesome blog Emma.I like the name..Come to the edge.Continue to soar dear.

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  3. Thanks sisters. For His glory. :)

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  4. Hi Emma, I like the post. Two things. A rose will definitely still smell as sweet even when referred to with another name. I have also understood from your post that a new name will bestow new identity and responsibility. So, all factors constant, do you think "Wanjohi" should change his name or live his life regardless of the name he has given its native meaning?

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  5. If I was Wanjohi, I'd consider changing my name. I have noticed that with progress in education,people often change titles from Dr. to Prof. etc. If we pay so much attention to such things, how about names that actually define us? On the flipside, Wanjohi would have a difficult time changing his documents, here is what matters: He would decide that the name stops with him, that a new generation would be birthed through him. In Christ we are a new creation, old things are passed away, all things have become new.

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