Ever since I was a child I have heard people say, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” That is a lie! Words have power and names do hurt. Names have POWER and that is why what we name our children matters.

What we name our children helps determines how they will live their lives.

 

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Recently, I attended a screening of the movie “He Named me Malala.” It was a documentary about the life of Nobel prize winner, Malala Yousafzai. One of the things that struck me was the story of how she got her name. Her father named her after a young girl who inspired Afghani soldiers to stop their retreat and fight for victory by telling them, “It is better to live as a lion for a day than to live as a slave for 100 years.” All her life, Malala Yousafzai has known the history of her name and that she is expected to great things  just as her namesake. Names are strong and have the power to push us to greatness.

My husband, Darren, selected the names for all four of our children. I was young when I married my husband. It was important to him and he asked me to give him that right. As a young bride I agreed. There was no religious, political or social reason. He wanted to name them, and at the time and in part due to my youth and inexperience, I did not fully understand the significance of the agreement. It was  easy for me to agree to give him naming rights, I am grateful that he had excellent taste in names and understood the significance of a child’s name.

Our first daughter is names Euphoria which means “happy, the happiest you can be.” Darren first heard that name as the name of a jazz group and the title of their album. We were dating when he heard it and I remember him declaring he would name his  daughter Euphoria. Euphoria coincidentally describes how we felt when we learned she was on the way. Her middle names are my middle name and maiden name. She was given those as a tribute to my family, a way of connecting with my side of their lineage.

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