If you have ever had a child you know one of the most difficult things to settle on is a name – most of the time. Our daughter Lauren had a name years before she was born. Ethan’s name only took a few weeks to decide on, but this time I am 6 weeks and a few days away from our baby being born and his name was just settled on.
A name is the one gift you give a child that stays with them. All the clothes, toys, and stuff we buy to prepare, will soon be outgrown. Naming a child is serious. Naming a child should be considered carefully and it should be a blessing.
I also think that their name should mean something, and not be ridiculous. Don’t get ahead of me – unique is fine, but “Celery” is not okay. That was actually on a list of baby names I read through. I can’t imagine introducing yourself as “Celery” your whole life will feel like a gift or a blessing.
For us, the Bible isn’t just a book of stories that we were told as kids in Sunday school. For us the Bible is filled with words that were breathed by the very breath of God – the same breath that spoke this world into being. Those words were what were spoken over us the night we saw the cross and what was accomplished there, and realized the beauty in it for us and were called into God’s kingdom. Those words throughout scripture that have been written on our hearts and will always draw us into the very heart of God mean more than I can express.
When we talked about naming our children we talked about wanting their names to mean something in what we hope for them and in what Christ will call them to.
- Lauren means “crowned with victory.” We named her that she would be crowned with the victory of Christ over sin, death, and the grave. Amelia means “mighty worker.” We named her that she would mightily and faithfully work in the kingdom of God – that His name and and renown would be the desire of her soul (Isaiah 26:8).
- Ethan comes from Psalm 89, which was written by Ethan the Ezrahite. It is beautiful and one of our favorite Psalms which is saying something. James means something to each of us personally. For Rob, it is his dad’s name, and we both love him so much. He was always such a fun dad, and has unconditionally supported Rob and me. For me, my Uncle Willie James has always loved me like God loves me. His love has never failed me, given up on me, or run out on me. He has been a pillar love and strength my whole life, and his faith and faithfulness inspire me. From scripture, the first thing that James describes himself as in verse one is “a follower of Christ.” Our hope is that Ethan would someday become a follower of Christ and that everything about his life would flow from that place.
This time, there have been lists made and long conversations followed by lots of prayer, but since Rob came up with Lauren’s name and we split Ethan’s, he felt like it’d be fair for me to name this baby boy. I have gone back and forth over and over, but have finally settled on a name for him.
- Joshua Piper Schuetz: Joshua was a great leader in scripture. That is detailed in the book of Joshua, and that quality is so important when we consider who we hope to raise our sons to be. There’s also this verse in Exodus: “Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.” – Exodus 33:11. When reading this I imagine a time when getting to sit in the presence of the Lord was not something granted to everyone. I know that I have taken it for granted a lot. The veil that was torn when Jesus gave up His final breath opens up this place for me, and there are many days that I don’t just sit in it in worship or prayer. Joshua would not leave the tent. He sat in the presence of God as often and as long as he could. Life flows from that place. The importance of getting in the tent and just enjoying that place will be definitive in who my son will become. I hope he always sees and knows the value of that. I hope his name always reminds him of that. Piper. I’m going to fan-girl for a second in a way I hope points back all the glory to God. John Piper has been one of the most inspiring and influential teachers of God’s word for decades. What God has put in his mind and heart has inspired generations and shined a light that the world would be less bright without. Not only has he directly inspired us through teaching what God has given him to teach, he has quite literally inspired most every teacher that has come behind him in one way or another. I would not be who I am without reading his writing, listening to his teaching, and my husband would not be one of my favorite teachers of God’s word without John Piper’s influence. God has used this man to impact and change the church here on earth, and his influence will extend until Christ returns. He is an amazing leader, teacher, pastor, and servant of the Lord.
I am so excited to have finally settled on a name that means so much to both of us, and that I love. I can’t wait to see his face and pray over him by name. Joshua Piper. My goodness, I love him so much already.