What name is given this child? That is typically a question from the administrators at the hospital as they process a birth certificate. It is also asked when the child is baptized. The first provides connection to an earthly family. The second provides connection to the Lord and a Heavenly family.
In his Truth for Life devotional, Alistair Begg writes, “In some cultures, the meanings behind names don’t matter much. We choose a name because we like the sound of it, or because it is precious to our particular family. In other cultures, though, a name itself may carry great significance. Its meaning can establish something about the person who bears it or the hopes of the people who bestowed it.” Names provide connection.
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” – Exodus 3:14. Alistair Begg goes on to say, “The name God shares with Moses is YHWH … Moses was requesting a name of authority to give to the people of Israel and to Pharaoh.” YHWH, pronounced Yahweh and translated into English as “I AM WHO I AM”, was the name that connected Moses to the Israelites, and reconnected the Israelites to their God. “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” – Matthew 1:23. Jesus’ name was a direct connection to YHWH and for His followers, He provided reconnection to His Father. Jesus said, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, … “He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the father’?”- John 14:7-9. If one knows Jesus, he knows the Father. The expectation for each of us dads is to know Jesus personally and lead in such a way that the kids know Him because they know us.
How about you and your family name? Do the kids understand the connection across the generations and know the family to whom they belong? Do they truly know you and know Jesus because they know you? Have you opened the door for that new level of connection in relationship with the kids as they mature?
Tips to connect to a new level:
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and for the name above all names that connects us to You. I confess that my actions, and interaction with the kids, has at best been inconsistent with the example You call me to. There has been more disconnecting than connecting going on. Forgive me. Grant me strength to represent you well in my home and initiate leadership that provides opportunities to connect to new levels of relationship in family that are grounded in a maturing relationship with You. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father provides connection in family and to the Father.