When your dad and I picked out your names, we were intentional about flow and meaning. For instance, we weren’t going to stick with a family name if we didn’t really like it; we weren’t going to go with a fad name because those are made fun of eventually or these days can be hard to spell (and we were already behind the 8 ball in that respect because of our last name); and we weren’t going to use names that reminded us of people we wished we didn’t know. There were, of course, other basic rules to naming you. We chose to make the middle name to point back to some kind of meaningfulness to us and chose a first name that we simply liked and sounded good with the middle name. Although we looked up the meanings of the names to make sure we weren’t naming you something that meant the opposite of our goals for you, we didn’t place high value on the meaning. One more thing, we had to be able to spell your first name with less than ten letters because God only gave us ten fingers to help us count.
Through the years, your names have only become important because of the person behind them. When God says a good name is to be valued, He is saying a good reputation (how the person behind the name is known) should be treasured. I have often wished I was mature enough to know that before all those bad choices in my life started piling up. The fact is we build our name one choice at a time. Yes, your dad and I named you; but every day of your life, you are naming and re-naming yourself with your choices. Although I avoided giving you a name that meant foolish, I can’t guarantee that you won’t pick that name for yourself. I didn’t give you names that were synonymous with laziness, hatred, lust, selfishness, prejudice, or pride, but you may surely pick those names by our choices. That’s up to you.
Speaking of names, I get to name you again for the purpose of this blog. I would rather not call you #1, #2, etc. First of all, that might have you thinking of others things. Second, a name will take less time and effort to type. So, to my eldest son, I name you Jonathan. To my second son, I name you Peter. To my youngest daughter, I name you Olivia. To my first daughter-in-law, I name you Belle. To my second daughter-in-law, I name you Summer. No major rhyme or reason to the names…just a hint of a tiny bit of significance to me. You probably don’t like the names, but maybe they will grow on you. It’s not like you had a say in your birth names so why would I give you a say now? But feel free to give yourself a middle name. Either way, just remember, you already hold the power of your name in your choices. I hope and pray you make a name God would describe as GOOD. (Need to know what good really means to God? Look up Romans 8:28-29.)
I love you, kiddos. Always.