May 20, 2009

What's in a name

In the scriptures, name changes were very significant to our Lord in heaven. It symbolized being transformed from the former person and being born into a whole new being. There are several incidences where names were changed to represent the newness of someone.

No longer will you be called Abram ; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.
Genesis 17:5

God also said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.
Genesis 17:15

God said to him, "Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel. " So he named him Israel.
Genesis 35:10

No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah ; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married.
Isaiah 62:2

Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter ).
John 1:42

And I could go on and on. This is so similar to when a woman marries and takes the last name of her husband. She is no longer on her own, but under the leadership of her husband. He is to guide her, protect her, love her and be responsible for her. She has been transformed from a single woman into a new wife of God. With this change comes the responsibility of wearing that name. As in scripture, you have to now represent all that your husband is.

It has become common practice to not take a husband's name after marriage. But the changing of a name has such a significant meaning unto the Lord. We give up individualism when we join together as one.

the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one.
Mark 10:8

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

It is a beautiful thing when two people who love each other and most of all, love the Lord come together as one. They are united as one in Christ. But God has decided that each unit has a head, and even that head has a head, which is Christ. We are all submitting to someone other than our own needs and wants.

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24

Our names are just a reflection of the new wife we have become for Christ. We have been transformed into new beings and now have new roles. Our new roles include being a mother to our husbands children, keeping our new home for our family, raising our children for the Lord, being a help-meet to our husbands, and the list goes on. Let us be proud of the husband's name we bare and let his heart trust safely in us. For a virtuous wife, who can find her?

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