Friday, November 12, 2010

Whats in a name?

Names have the potential to mean a lot. Not everyone puts a lot of thought into naming a child, but some do. Most parts of the world place great emphasis on what and why someone is named what they are named. In America not so much. Often in America, people choose a name mostly by whether it sounds good or not. Or whether the child's name would cause them to be made fun of in elementary school. These are good concerns, but in my opinion the meaning of the name should be of greater importance.

This picture to the right is of my father, Morris Carl Greene, Jr. He is in so many ways 'a true man'. I never hear him complain (even though I often think he has legitimate things to complain about). He has his priorities in order, and others recognize that in him. He is committed to church. He loves gardening. He provides for his family. He works hard. He also is an excellent grandfather.
Our third son, Noah Morris, is named after him. This is especially meaningful because my dad is named after his father. There is a lot of significance to the name Morris for our family. Valeria and I are so proud to have named our third son after my father.
His first name Noah comes from the Bible. Noah means "rest". In Genesis 6, when God sees the whole world as wicked. Noah is the only person on earth who found favor in the eyes of God. Hebrews 11 calls Noah "an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith."
So, Noah's first name comes from the Bible, and his middle name comes from my family. And both of those names have great significance to us.

This picture to the left is of Lucio Valenzuela and his wife. They are Valeria's grandparents. They are the mother and father of Valeria's father, Edgar. Unfortunately, I was unable to meet him before the Lord called him home. But from all that I hear and see, he was one awesome man. A man of true conviction and leadership. Valeria's family is full of commitment to the Lord Jesus and the Word of God. This wonderful, admirable commitment is due to the way God used Lucio in the leading of his family.
Our second son, Eli Lucio, is named after this Lucio. Valeria and I are so proud to name our son after him.
Our son's first name is Eli after the high priest in 1 Samuel of the Bible. Eli means "exalted is the Lord". Eli is the priest that Hannah gives her son Samuel to to be brought up in the Lord.
So, Eli's first name is from the Bible and his middle name is from Valeria's family. And both of those names have great significance to us.

Our first son, JJ, is named after his father... me. My full name is Joshua Carl Greene. Carl, as I wrote earlier, is a long time family name that comes from my father and his father. JJ is a Jr and has my exact name.
Joshua comes from the Bible and means "the Lord is salvation". Joshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus. Joshua is the one who God used to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land.
Then again, Carl is a family name.
JJ's first name is from the Bible and his middle name is from the family. Both of these names have great meaning and significance to me and Valeria.
I must say that in us naming JJ after me we are not trying to limit him. We know God has plans for him. And it is our deep desire, our daily prayer, and our continual parenting goal to see JJ become a faithful follower of our King Jesus.

Finally, that last sentence is not just for JJ either. Valeria and I love our sons. Their names have real meaning to us. And we pray that God would grow the three of them into humble disciples of the one worthy of following, namely Jesus.

So what's in a name? I say everything. Remember, Jesus's name had to be Jesus. Matthew 1:21 says "and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."