I remember my father telling me to be careful how I “acted” outside the home because that represented our family name. If we behaved badly, we smeared the family name in the mud. If we behaved well, we brought honor to the family name. It was an excellent lesson and one that he used repeatedly to teach us whenever we misbehaved in public. This lesson had such an impact on me that I passed it along to my own children.
When someone speaks your last name, is it done with honor or dishonor? The word of God says:
~Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
~Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
As we can see by these two verses, God puts a “value” on our good name. He says a good name is better than gold, silver and precious ointment! So what’s in a name? As parents, we spend hours thinking of names to call our newborn baby, right? We wouldn’t want to call a son, Judas, or our daughter, Jezebel! There is something to a name. What about our family name, as my father taught me as a child? Our actions will bring joy or shame to a family. I’m sure Ted Bundy’s family hung their head in shame for a while. Ecclesiastes says that the day of death is better than the day of one’s birth! Why? Because we take our name with us, per se. Our actions follow us for all eternity. This physical tabernacle will one day be gone but we will have eternal life with Christ! (II Corinthians 5:4) Glorifying the Lord in our words and through our actions will last for eternity!
As I meditated on that this morning, I thought of the many “names” that I personally have. I am ‘honey’ to my husband, Mom, Mémère (Grandma in French), Christian, sister, etc. Since Proverbs and Ecclesiastes place a value on a good name, then what kind of “value” is placed on each of those names in the eyes of my family and friends? Is it a name that is loved and cherished? Is it a name that puts a frown on people’s faces? Are they names that bring honor to my Lord and Saviour? Am I fulfilling God’s outline for each of my roles according to His word? If not, today’s text should be quite convicting!
What names are you wearing today, dear lady? Are they spoken to you with love or are they words of disdain in the speaker’s mouth? This will determine what your next step is. The Lord is gracious and full of mercy! If we haven’t been “making a name” for Christ, it’s never too late to start.
~Psalm 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
~Psalm 145:8 The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
Praise the Lord for His mercy and compassion toward us. It’s never too late to start afresh and commit anew our walk with Him. God has many verses in His word for women! Each “name” we are given is clothed with Bible verses where we can glean. We just need to study and research. For example:
1. Honey: Proverbs 31:11-31, Ephesians 5:22, I Peter 3:1-6.
2. Mom: Proverbs 6:20, Proverbs 31:28, Deuteronomy 5:16
3. Christian: Galatians 5:22-23
These are just examples, but I think you will understand what I am trying to say. Whatever roles we have as women, we should study God’s word to learn how He outlines each one. God’s ways are what is best for us. What He has put in His word will never take us down the wrong path but will bring peace and blessing! This puts meat to Proverbs 22:1 and Ecclesiastes 7:1, doesn’t it? As we strive to be as Christ would have us to be, we can then teach our children how important it is to have a good name. A person who is teachable is one that God can mold into the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ. As we teach our children, we are molding their future and we are “adding” to the family’s good name, the name of Christianity, and to our children’s good name when they become adults.
When I connect with people from my childhood, I tell them that I am so and so’s daughter. I always here that he was a ‘nice man.’ When we leave this earth, we can either leave a legacy that speaks volumes for Christ or we can leave a family who will follow a path worse than we did.