Naming our children

john_makumbe_familyThere is truth in the saying that there is something in a name. In fact, names are highly spiritual in nature. (Pictured: John Makumbe)

They have meanings and it is important to know the meanings before you just name a child. When a child is born, it is essential that the two parents involved discuss a variety of names and settle on one or two names for that child. It is important that agreement is reached by the two parents. It will be unfair for any one of the parents to insist on their preferred name at the exclusion of the name suggested by their spouse. If agreement cannot be reached, it may be necessary to give the child two names, one from each of the two parents.

It will be unwise to ask the aunt or uncle to name your child, unless you have a very special reason for making such a request. When the aunties and uncles come along to congratulate you and suggest names for the child, tell them politely that you are still discussing the matter, or that you have already named the child. There are a few critical points to remember when naming our children. First, our children are distinct individuals who have their own lives to live. They are not duplicates of us or of some of our relatives. We should therefore not name them after ourselves or some old favourite brother, sister, mother or father.

African people are usually fond of giving their mothers or fathers names to their children. This is unwise from a spiritual perspective. For some reason, children who are given their relatives names tend to adopt the character and behaviour of that relative. All of us have some weaknesses and we would not like our children to acquire the same problems that we may have experienced in life.

In my family, there is no John Junior or Virginia Junior. That means that I am not John Senior. I am John; then there is Rumbidzai, Tapiwanashe, etc. In other words, our children do not have to re-live our lives or to live the way we are living. They are their own persons by the grace of God. The law of impartation is such that when we name our children after ourselves or some other people we know and even love, we spiritually bind them to the character and behaviour of those people.

What is amazing is that later in their lives, our children, who are named after us or our relatives begin to behave very much the way the persons after which they are named behaved in life. Some parents have the audacity to be surprised when their children, named after a polygamous grand father start to have serious extra-marital affairs.

But you virtually cursed the child when you named him after a man who enjoyed having more than just one wife. Thank God, this whole curse can be broken even long after the child is grown. This can only be done through prayer. It would also be helpful if the child concerned is a Christian and the matter is explained to him or her in full. There will be no need to change the name at that late stage, but the link between that name and the person after who the child was named can be severed by faithful prayer. It is a spiritual process, and it is very powerful. Churches have the responsibility of educating people on the significance of names and the need to seek the mind of the Lord in naming our children. Names spell out our identities and they are matters of the spirit.

Post published in: Opinions

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