Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bearing His Name

In our culture, a beautiful thing occurs when two people get married. The woman willingly gives up her last name and has it legally changed to that of her husband's. In doing this, she is showing that her identity has changed, and that she is now an ambassador of her husband everywhere she goes. She bears his name.

As girls, we often dwell on this fact and long for the day when our name will be changed. Too quickly we try out the last name of a young man we are interested in, seeing how it will sound with our first name. We catch ourselves and remember that nothing has happened yet, but we still look forward to the day when our name will change, when we will willingly belong to one man.

Having one's name changed is an exciting thing when you realize that by doing so you will be spending the rest of your life with this man. In the throes of love, nothing could seem better. Yet with it there also comes a responsibility. Now, the things you do will not only reflect on yourself, but also on your husband. You are one with him, and your actions will be seen as an extension of his.

As maidens we can wait and wish for this day when our name will legally be changed, but we have an exciting thing to reflect on now. If we are saved, our name has already been changed. We are no longer a child of the world, but are a child of God. We bear the name of Christ. Everywhere we go, as we call ourselves Christians, we are reflecting on the character and nature of Christ.

We are no longer our own. We are His. We are His ambassadors. The things that we do are seen as an extension of our Savior. We will forever bear His Name.

Wow. This is an amazing blessing, and yet a sobering responsibility. We must prayerfully consider our actions and ask our Father if we are living lives that accurately reflect Him. Are we distorting His character or defaming His Name? We must ask Him to reveal these things to us, and then truly repent.

We are amazingly blessed to be able to bear the Name of Christ. It shows that we belong to Him forever. But as we live each day, calling ourselves Christians, we must pray that our lives glorify Christ's Name and point those around us not to ourselves, but to Him. What does it matter if people don't remember our earthly name? If through our actions they remember the Name of Christ, our lives will have been well lived.

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" - 2 Corinthians 5:17

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him." - 1 John 3:1

"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." - 2 Corinthians 5:20

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." - Colossians 3:17


Anonymous said...

Wow! What a great post! I, too, am guilty of quickly trying out my first name with the last name of families I know who have eligible young men. But this post showed me that I need to focus on bearing Christ's name for now, and in His perfect timing I will, Lord willing, bear the last name of my as-yet-unknown prince.


Mardi said...

Beautifully put!! I know I need to focus more on bearing Christ's name than, that of whomever my Mr. Right is that God has for me to marry. While reading your blog, a song by the group Newsong came to mind, it talks about we wear the name of Christ. Thanks for the reminder, I needed it!
God Bless!

Shelby L'Rae said...

*raises hand, blushing* Guilty...

This is a great post. Anna, may I feature a snippet of this post on my blog, kinda as an advertisement to yours? I really want some of the girls in my area to see that I'm not the only crazy conservative girl that wears a skirt and cooks for fun in America. ;-)

Anna Naomi said...

Allie and Mardi: We all need these reminders - myself included!

Shelby: I would be honored if you linked to us. Feel free to post anything from our blog on yours as long as you link back to us. Thanks! =)

Courtney said...

Thank you for this post! Ive always thought of this principle, but you put it into words so beautifully. It made my day. Thank you!

Ella said...

Anna, I have been guilty of trying out names before.....I always wish that I hadn't. (And I still have to set a guard over my mind =)

But right now, I bear the name of Christ. Life should be all about Him.

Shelby L'Rae said...

Thank you Anna, and I definitely will put a link back to Maidens of Worth. This blog is definitely WORTHY of reading. Love it, keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Amen! Bearing Christ's name is truly a serious task. I know what it is to be an ambassador, especially when most of the others do not take their duties seriously...

Once in seventh grade, I lied and told the other girls I had a crush on someone (I didn't and they didn't know him anyway. Oddly enough, under the pressure I gave the name of his little brother, who would have been five at the time). Then they started pretending to have married names... Let's just say I have never pretended to have a crush since then.


Meagan said...

I've only recently discovered your blog and I just wanted to say thank you girls so much for doing this! In a world that's constantly bombarding us with its culture it is a wonderful blessing to have a "retreat" and a place like this where we can be encouraged. I can't wait to take on my husband's name (just clarifying - I don't currently have prospects, it's just the dream) but I love dancing in the fact that I already have a name sweeter than that. What an awesome reminder! God Bless!

In Him,


Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks for this reminder Anna!

Bethany Hudson said...

Being an "old married lady" of three years :-P, I can say that changing my last name was one of the more profound events of my life. It gave me such joy to doff my maiden name and take on my husband's. To this day, I really don't like filling out forms where only my maiden name is required (like some health forms), as it feels like a completely different identity from the one I now possess.

But, I really enjoyed your perspective that, as Christians, we have already been given a new identity in Christ--and a new name. I love in the book of Revelation where it talks about the names He has for us that only He knows.

As a Catholic, I have also found beautiful meaning in the fact that nuns and priests receive new names when they enter their orders. Sometimes they choose this name, sometimes their superior does.

So many times in the Bible, a new name is given in order to differentiate a new beginning and a new identity, beginning all the way back with Abram and Sarai. It is a blessing to follow in the footsteps of our forefather and foremothers and enjoy the newness of being renamed.


Lexie said...

I am guilty of trying out guys last names as my own before. I think its wonderful to take on a guy's last name, but what do you do if the guy has a ridiculous sounding last name? Like a girl I go to school with her last name is Hickey and when put together with her first name it sounds very untasteful.