A name is a word or set of words by which a person, animal, place or thing is know.
Names are very important. It tells a story of who we are, what we shall be and become. Therefore as parents when naming our children we should think very carefully before naming our children, how the name will impact on our children as they grow up, especially in this world of inequality. Names which are negative and have negative connotations will not inspire a child to develop positively or have a good outcome in life. The child will not grow to make a positive contribution in his/her community.
I have been inspired to write this piece because of an encounter I had in the run up to the New Year 2014. I was enraged inside when introduced to a child called “Failure”, yes many of you may be laughing at this stage, thinking this is a joke! No, it is not a joke, a child’s real name. This is both serious and sad to think a mother or the parents can name her first born child ‘Failure”. Her other children have lovely and positive names such as Elisha and Christina. I wonder what was going on in their mind at the time of naming their innocent and beautiful baby girl.
Who on earth names a child Failure, Death, Trouble, Difficult, Pay me, Endure, Urinate, and Graveyard? What chance do these innocent children have in life, particularly in a world which is so fierce, scrutinises and very competitive, socially and economically?
As I write this piece I am reminded of the story of Jabez, 1 Chronicles 4: v 9-10, and 1 Samuel 4: v 21, where a name is given as a result of a situation. The bible tells us that Jabez was an honourable man, more honourable than his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because she bore him in pain. Even Jabez knew his name had a negative connotation and cried out to God inverse 10: “Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying: “Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my border; and that your hand might be with me and that You would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain”. And God granted what he asked. God heard him and changed his life. God turned his life around from negativity to positivity.
In another instance, 1 Samuel 4: v 21 Eli’s daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas named the child Ichabod and meaning: “The glory has departed from Israel!” This came about when The Ark of God was captured by the Philistines. These are the only two occasions I know of in the bible for a child to be given a name that reflects a negative situation.
Therefore, as parents let us not wait for our children to cry out to God or face adversity in life before we act. As parents it is our duty to ensure that we give our children the best we can afford, emotionally, mentally, educational, physically and financially installing positivity in them. That they can be proud of us as parents to become good and honourable citizens in our community.
My plea to all parents is be wise and choose for your children good, honorable and positive names and not ones that are born out of our situations. It is very important that our children are given names that they can be proud of such as;-
Victoria means Victory, Hannah, God has favoured me/ Hebrew for ‘grace’Javeria = Bringer of Happiness,Miranda = Admirable /Worthy of Admiration, Aaron = Mountain of strength, Matthew = Gift of God, Maximilian = Greatest and Joshua = God shall add another son
The word of God tells us that: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches”. Proverbs 22: 1
References: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.