Friday, August 5, 2011

Picking Our Littles' Names

What's her name? -OR- Have you picked out a name for him yet?

A blank stare that translates as You have got to be kidding me -OR- Huh?

Yep. This is pretty common. We are not only used to it, but we expect it. I wanted to delve into why we pick the names we do for our (DiMartino) children. Let me first establish that we, personally, believe that a person's name is very important and can even shape a person's being.

Lists work best for me :)
  1. We wanted names that are defining of their personhood and character, where the meaning of the name becomes both a part of who they are and who they are becoming. A name molds a person with or without that person realizing it! We hope that their names become so ingrained in their beings that these names give them a strong identity.
  2. I often find myself contemplating how the meaning of my name ("fire") affects me -- how it is shaping me; how is it defining me now; how God's fire is at work in me... Anyway, point is that I enjoy this introspection, and we want our children to have something to reflect upon in their depths. And, when times are tough, they will have their name-meaning to act as an anchor and remind them of how Jesus has worked and is working in their lives and beings. Now that is some good self-examination!
  3. Most importantly, though, is that we want their name to be somewhat descriptive of their relationship with God. My name-meaning has definitely woven itself into how God and I relate. Names and their meanings can, do, and will affect how they relate to Jesus and even how He relates to them. And that is powerful.

Those put some of our sentiments on paper. Let me add a few side notes. No, we are not trying to be "different" or make it hard on others. Yes, there are many more common, easy-to-pronounce names that have good, solid meanings, but those names did not have the same meaning or fulfill the purpose we intended. We just ended up with the names that He worked into our hearts. What we are not saying is that when people select a name for their child because it is common or short or pretty, then that is wrong. It just is not the way we have chosen. Just as we do not judge their choice, we hope that people do not feel judged by our decision :)

"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." ~ Proverbs 22:1