Poor Beriah! Joseph’s son Ephraim had two sons who were killed by the men of Gath. After their death, Ephraim had another son whom he named Beriah “because there had been misfortune in his family.” (I Chronicles 7:23 NIV) Can you imagine going through life knowing your name reminded your father of the death of your brothers? No small burden for poor Beriah!
Things might not have turned out so well for Beriah, but normally the naming of children in Israel was an exciting moment. The meaning of the name and the parent’s favorite Jewish heroes of faith, often influenced the choice. In fact, Jesus is actually the Armaic form of the name Joshua.
Today, most names are chosen based on popularity, how they sound or sometimes to honor a relative. Have you ever looked up the origin of your children’s names? I checked for the meaning of our daughter’s names before we gave them to her. Ironically, although she was actually named for two of my cousins, both of her names mean purity. All of her life, as we recount the story of how she was named, I have included how excited I was when I discovered both of her names meant purity. I remind her I was excited because I knew she would be reminded constantly of what God wanted for her – purity.
There are other ways to remind your children of their connection to God throughout their lives. In addition to the story of the meaning of her names, our daughter has her own theme song. Through a variety of events surrounding her and her birth, we declared “Walking on Sunshine” to be her special song. (Had we realized how much significance her “theme song” would eventually have, we might have chosen a church song.)
Whatever song you choose, it should be upbeat and have some sort of connection to your child. Try to pick a song that is a classic or destined to be one. so it receives regular play on the radio or on commercials and in movies. Then connect something about God to your child and the song.
Every time we hear our daughter’s theme song, we remind her how God shines the sun down on her with all of the many blessings He has given her. I don’t know why, but it does seem the song is played regularly and God does seem to rain His sunshine of blessings down on her at an incredible pace. Regardless, whenever she hears “her” song, she brightens up a little and if it is already a good day, it gets just a little better.
Our daughter took it a step farther with little encouragement from us. She chose a theme Bible verse. It is a verse that describes her outlook on life, God and faith. Whenever anyone asks for her favorite verse, I know exactly which one she will quote. As you and your child read through the Bible, encourage him to find a scripture that has special meaning for him. One that will remind him God loves Him. Have him memorize it. Make a decorative plaque with the verse and hang it in her room. When he gets discouraged, remind him of the verse and how important God is in our lives.
It may be too late to name your child or change the meaning of her name, but you can bless her with a “theme song” and a special verse. Give him the gift of a name, a song and a verse that will remind him about God. At some point, that memory may just help her through a difficult time when you may not be there to remind her about God. In the meantime, the two of you will share a smile every time you talk about a person in the Bible with her name, hear his song on the radio or when “his” special verse is read in church. When you do, take the time to remind your children of their very special connection to God.
Have you found other special ways to remind your child of God? Does your child’s name connect them to a person in the Bible or a godly characteristic? Do your children have special “theme” songs? Do your children each have a special verse that is important to them? I’d love to hear your child’s favorite connections to God if you would be willing to share them in a comment below.