Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jabez- What's in a Name?

1 Chronicles 4:9b His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain."

There is nothing more painstaking in a mothers' life than to choose the name of the child. It is the first decision we make for our children that will directly affect them the rest of their lives. Should their name be one of the most common names of the day like Jacob or Emma (registered as most popular in 2008) or should you go with a family name like Grace or Charles? Could a nickname be derived from their name that might cause teasing or ridicule? What name might look good on a resume for a doctor or lawyer - certainly Patricia or Jonathan would look better than Breasia or Damontae on that diploma.

I was never thrilled with my name. Not that I didn't like it, I just wasn't thrilled with it. It was old-fashioned and no one else in my school had my name. I was named after my grandmother - whom I loved - but it was her generation that frequently bore the name "Dorothy". The meaning of my name is another matter indeed. Dorothy means - "Gift of God". It certainly does give weight to the feelings my mom held about having a little girl. I was certainly her gift from God. She loved me to pieces, and still does - I can't imagine a childhood in which one does not feel the unconditional love of their parents. I also realize, I am blessed.

Jabez grew up with a different interpretation to his name. The constant reminder of the sacrifice his mom had to make in order for him to be alive. The reminder that everyone with whom he was introduced would know the suffering his mom went through to give birth. Why would someone put that type of a burden on their child? Isn't it nice to know that we have a Father who has called us His own and who does not dwell on the past, but only offers us a better future? That the only reminder we need is that He loves us so much He sent His son to die on a cross - so that we could be with Him forever. No wonder they call Him - Saviour.

2 wonderful insights:

Kay Martin said...

Yes His name is powerful. I find when I speak the name, Jesus, in some groups I am a target for trouble. But that will never stop me.

His name....Savior.

Edie said...

Immanuel - God with us.
I love the names of Jesus.

Like you, I have never been thrilled with my name either, including my middle name. But I love the meanings of both. My first name means Rich Gift, middle name means Noble Character. I think that's a fair enough trade.