I often ask people if they know what their name means, and startle them when I tell them.
Michael and Michelle mean “like God.” So I might ask, “How are you doing with that?”
Or Stephen and Stephanie mean victor’s crown—as in the original Olympics. So I tell them their name says they are winners.
We were intentional in naming our children, continuing to pray that their names would be borne out in their lives.
Deborah means bee, but we named her after Deborah the prophetess, judge and military leader. Then we gave her Ann, meaning grace, as a middle name. We figured anyone named after a prophetess, judge and military leader would need a lot of grace.
Michelle, daughter #2, gets to live out being “like God.” Her middle name, Elizabeth, means consecrated to God. We are grateful that she desires to discover and follow God’s path for her.
Our son, Joshua, was named by his birth mother. I don’t know if she realized what a powerful name she gave him—it is the same as Jesus and means Jehovah saves—but we believe God will use Joshua to touch a lot of lives with the love of Jesus.
I’ve always been grateful my parents named me Judith. I love the meaning: praise of the Lord. So my purpose in life has become to fulfill, to live out my name. I praise Him a lot.
I praise Him when I am in need: The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalm 28:7)
I praise Him when I am discouraged: Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:5)
I praise Him for all He has done for me: Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits… (Psalm 103:1-2)
I praise Him because He is worthy of praise: Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. (Psalm 72:19)
Almost every day I say, Lord, may my life be praise to You.
What about you? What does your name mean?
C2012 Judy Douglass