Some parent have names that they have always "liked" and so they will find something that suit them as a couple and go with that. Maybe they choose to honor a beloved friend or family member. Maybe it is to memorialize someone that they idolize or respect. Maybe there are other reasons parents might have for choosing names, but for me, it's different still.
I firmly believe that names are prophetic. Each time a child's name is spoken, there are certain qualities and characteristics that are being encouraged in that person. The name of God has a place of such reverence that keeping HIS name holy makes the top ten list.
As a first time parent considering the name for our oldest, Noah, wasn't so seemingly serious. Nor was the naming of our second child, Hannah. I believe that we were guided to the right names for them. And by the time our third, Zakeaus, came around, I really started to see that choosing the right name can make a world of difference. We also prayed about the names for Zakeaus and Madgalyn, and I also know we were guided to their names as well, but there came a new awareness of meaning as well.
Noah, was a name that both my husband and I were drawn to separately. So when we discussed it and both thought "Noah", well that decided it! In addition to the wonderful example of faith that we see in the biblical character of Noah, we came to learn later that "Noah" means rest. And oddly enough, Noah was known for sleeping a LOT of an infant. Even now, at the age of 7, I ask him to lay down for a rest at least a couple of days a week, and it is not unusual to have him enjoy 2 hour naps or longer. And he does have a wonderful faith for a child his age, that brings encouragement to his family and his friends.
Hannah means "favor" or "grace", both of which our daughter is full of. Her middle name is Elizabeth, for my sister. Hannah and Elizabeth, in the bible, are two mothers of significant men, Samuel and John the Baptist. Our Hannah is a natural mother and caregiver... and I don't think that it a coincidence.
(Zaccheaus) was a wee little man and a wee little man was he...
He climbed up in a sycamore tree for the Lord he wante to see...
And as the Savior passed his way, he looked up in that tree..
And he said "(Zaccheaus) you come down, for I'm going to your house today."
Oddly enough, Zakeaus is small for his age, the only one of our children who is not above average in height for his age. Zakeaus is a natural climber, requiring several times a day "Zak, get down from there." And the story in Luke 19, continues on past the children's song
And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore [him] fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.I hope and pray that the faith and generosity of the man Zaccheaus to be birthed in the heart of Zakeaus as he grows. I have confidence that it will.
Madgalyn's name comes from the biblical character of Mary Madgalene. Madgalene was used to distinguish that she was from the Magdala, which meant "tower". I had liked this name early in the pregnancy, but Shane was not as convinced. One day at work he heard a song from the band Kutless, called "Strong Tower", not just once, but 4 times in one day! And it was decided that would be her name.
When I wander through the desert
And I'm longing for my home
All my dreams have gone astray
When I'm stranded in the valley
And I'm tired and all alone
It seems like I've lost my way
I go running to your mountain
Where your mercy sets me free
You are my strong tower
Shelter over me
Beautiful and mighty
You are my strong tower
Fortress when I'm weak
Your name is true and holy
And Your face is all I seek
In the middle of my darkness
In the midst of all my fear
You're my refuge and my hope
When the storm of life is raging
And the thunder's all I hear
You speak softly to my soul
The song speaks of God's strength as our tower, shelter and strength. I pray the name of my daughter will be true in her own independence and strength, but also in her faith in the Strong Tower of God.
So now the daunting task of finding names for our next two boys... who will they be?
Honestly, we don't have any solid ideas. But here are some sites we have had fun with:
The Fantasy Name Generator
The name genie:
Armani, Julian, Malcom, Samuel, Carl, Alfred, Ethan, Vance, Elijah
Fake Name Generator:
Darius L. Cox, Jerry C. Parker
(and we hadn't even considered the possibilty of NOT using Vertner!)
Hobbit Name Generator:
Grigory Burrows, Drogo Hamwich of Buckleberry Fern
As you can see, none of these are much help. Feel free to leave your suggestions.... all will be considered, few will be used.