What’s In A Name?


Baby Jonathan – 1 Week

I’ve always grown up under the impression that names should mean something. For example my name, Stephen, means “The Crowned One”. While I don’t believe I have much future as king (except in my Clash of Clans kingdom, where I’m clearly the totes to my goats), I’ve always felt that my name reflected God’s deep love for me and the high expectations He has for me, expectations which I imagine my Clash of Clans kingdom is simultaneously causing me to fall alarmingly short of. My name is a reminder to me that God has a plan for me. A big plan. I like that.

There’s also a small chance it could foreshadow my death by stoning.

I’ve always liked that my name has a story and meaning behind it and it was something I wanted to give my children. I wanted to have a story behind their name that one day we could tell them. This is something Amanda and I quickly agreed on.

As our due date got closer the ridiculous list of things that needed to be done before the baby was born was quickly dwindling and the nursery was finally completed. Our baby was now ready to live in this world. All baby needed was a birthday and a name.

Since Amanda and I decided to find out only if our baby was human or not we knew that we had to eventually come up with two names, ideally before the baby was born. With only a month or so left we were driving home and the topic of names came up. We shared our short-lists and began whittling down the finalists. We agreed on our girl name almost immediately. The boy name was a bit trickier. We wanted the name to be simultaneously meaningful in its origin, but meaningful also to us personally.

We had a very short list of a few finalists but it was a story Amanda told me that her Nana had told her that tipped the scales. It hit me deep.

Nana is a prayer warrior. One of the things she has prayed for her grandkids is that they would have Jonathans in their lives, friends that would be positive influences. The Biblical story of Jonathan is one of the greatest stories of friendship ever told. To me that prayer is so simple yet so powerful.

Both Amanda and I have experienced the blessings of having Jonathans in our lives. They are the kinds of friendships that helped us survive high school, roomed with us in college, celebrated with us at our triumphs and cried with us during our tragedies. They’ve been with us for just about everything and have helped usher us through those dangerous adolescent years and into adulthood.

As I look back on my teenage years and see my twenties quickly turn over to thirties I can’t imagine how differently my life would have gone without these Jonathans in my life. How hard it would have been for me to go it alone! We want our son to be that kind of person to his friends, the kind of person we’ve been so fortunate to have in our lives. I’m sure Amanda and I will quickly learn how just how much a parent yearns to train up their children in the way they should go but whom their children choose as friends is so critically important.

I pray not only for wisdom that Amanda and I will not raise an axe murderer but also that God has friends prepared for Jonathan to be the blessing to him that our friends have been to us, and that Jonathan himself will strive to be that kind of friend and influence as well.

3 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. directorb

    Awesome post. There is so much power in a name. Best of luck to you and your wife as you prepare for a new adventure.


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