What’s in a Name?

Choosing a name for your child has got to be one of the biggest challenges in life.

I mean, seriously. I don’t think there are even words to accurately describe the weight of this responsibility.

The potential for disaster is enormous. Just the middle school years alone could bring psychological torment to that sweet bundle of joy. Just because in your sleep deprived and exhausted state, you didn’t think through your kid’s initials before signing that birth certificate.

The pressure. Of a name.

I have several friends who can testify to the angst. Their babies were close to being discharged as Baby Girl or Baby Boy. Harassment from social security ensued. The struggle is real.

Maybe I make it more complicated than it needs to be. I mean, it’s hard enough to just choose a name that sounds nice.

You have to practice yelling it out the back door. “[Child’s Full Name], get in this house right this instant!”

You need to do your best announcer voice while pomp and circumstance plays in the background. “[Child’s Full Name], Summa Cum Laude, [Extremely Impressive Degree].”

You should type it out in a resume header and see if your creative spelling might doom your child to a lifetime of mispronounced introductions.

So all of that and I go and make it even more complicated.

I want to choose a name that sounds awesome when they’re in big trouble but also means something special.

Jake and I have found that we’re drawn to Biblical names. It’s a reflection of our faith but also of our hopes and prayers for our children.

If we look up the meaning of a name we’ve chosen for our child, we could pretty much read it aloud and put an “amen” at the end and it becomes a prayer over that child.

For our son, we chose the name, Caleb, for a first name. We paired it with a family name that appears all up and down Jake’s family tree. Depending on where you look, Caleb means “Whole Hearted” or “bold and loyal.” His middle name, Lucius, means “light.”

So our prayer for Caleb is that he will be bold in his faith and his life, loyal to his convictions and loved ones, whole-heartedly devoted to God, and bring light to the lives of those around him.

Our daughter’s name is Grace Elisabeth. Grace means “favor of God” while Elisabeth means “God is satisfaction.”

Our prayer for Gracie is that she experiences an abundance of God’s grace and mercy in her life and that she recognizes every thrilling example of God’s unmerited favor. We pray that, throughout her life, she will know total satisfaction in God.

We have chosen a name for our sweet new baby coming in the next couple months. We are ready for you, Social Security office!

Our new daughter is Abigail Faith. The definitions we found for Abigail are “the father’s joy” and “my father rejoices.” Faith means “complete trust and confidence.”

Our prayer for Abby is that she will know true joy throughout her life in all the ups and downs, that she will bring joy to those around her, that she will have a firm understanding that her heavenly Father rejoices over her and that she will have complete trust and confidence in Him.


It doesn’t always work, but I try to remember these prayers when I’m in the middle of yelling their full names and sending them to time out for drawing whiskers on each other’s faces in sharpies.

I feel good about the names we’ve chosen. Plus, I don’t think any of their initials spell out cuss words. Hopefully, the middle school years will be good to them.

How did you choose your children’s names? I love hearing the story behind the name and I’d love to hear yours if you’d like to share it down there in the comments!