The Power of a Name: What Have You Named Your Children?

My wife and I spent a lot of time figuring out what names we would give our kids.
As much as there is something to be said for simply liking a name, there was something deep in both Melissa and myself that drew us to the meaning of the names we would give our children.

Baby names writtenThere is no question that most of this sense of value for meaning came out of the bible. God goes as far as renaming individuals like Saul because the meaning of their new names was so intentional and powerful. Intentional to the degree of recreated their future identity as a result came up with the following names for our children.

I’ll start by telling you what we named them and then I’ll explain the process and passion we have for names with purpose.

Merci – (pronounced “mercy”) Innocent and blameless, included is the french translation which “thank you” to God for the blessing
Leigha – (pronounced like the star wars princess) Princess of the meadow
Josiah – Fire of the Lord
Miracle – Fairly self explanatory (she was our stillborn and I was lead to name her Miracle before she died – click here to hear our story)
Tobias – God is good

The Old Testament is filled with examples of fathers naming their kids with incredible intention. Prayer and focus are involved and their names are often a specific reflection of God’s intention for their children. Melissa and I were convicted by this fact and decided to take it to heart when we named our kids.

We wanted to pray and speak an identity over them every time we say their names. We also wanted to be intentional about dedicating them to God at the beginning of their lives, even before they were born.

We were clearly lead to a meaning for Merci, but with our boys we had a different approach.

We looked at the Old Testament and made a list of names we liked, then we looked up the meanings and covered up the names and prayed over it. We chose the meaning that we felt most impacted by and lead to.

There was an exception to the rule with our second daughter.

I’ll readily admit that I’m a Star Wars fan, but not the kind of fan that is obsessive. 😉 Our daughter Leigha was the anomaly, we chose the name because we liked it, and then looked up the meaning. Leah means “tired and weary” which we didn’t like, but in the Gaelic it means “of the meadow” and so we changed it up to combine it with the fact that the only Lea (Star Wars spelling) we knew was from the movies. The result was that we made up the spelling and combined the meanings, she is our “princess of the meadow.” When we say her name, pray her name or pray for her we call her out as the meaning it has for us.

We are passionate about the power in a name, spoken, prayed and claimed as the future that God has for our children.

There may be some of you who feel that you haven’t taken the naming of your kids seriously, but I wanted to say that its never too late. Look up their names, pray specifics over them. Ask God about the plans he has for them and make that your prayer, make that the meaning of their names. Praying intentionally and submitting the future of your children to God never goes to waste.

I believe that their names aren’t just names, but expressions of who they will become and who they are. 

I’d love to hear how you named your kids and what their names mean to you.