Choosing a Name (Round 3)
Yesterday, I witnessed our third child, Warren Kyle Herbert, enter the world. It was every bit as exciting, nerve-racking, and wonderful as the other two times I’ve witnessed one of my children take their very first breath. Witnessing new life come into the world for the first time is one of God’s best gifts that He can give us. “Gift” is the word that comes to mind because there are so many aspects about the growth and development of a baby that are outside of our control. Yet, by the grace of God, a fully formed tiny human enters a world waiting for him to arrive. I wrote about the significance of both Camden and June’s names after they were born, so I wanted to keep up the tradition.
Each time Becca and I have gone through this process, we spend a lot of time thinking about the responsibility that comes with speaking identity into our children. Identity is spoken over us thousands of times throughout life, but our identity begins with the names we are given. It’s no accident that one of the most common ways Scripture communicates our new identity in Christ is by talking about a book with our names written in it. When you know there’s a God who has named you and counted you as part of His family, there’s no need to search for superficial identities elsewhere. I love how Richard Rohr puts it. He says, “Life is not a matter of creating a special name for ourselves, but of uncovering the name we have always had.”
When it came to naming Warren Kyle, Becca and I wanted to speak the identity of a strong, wise, spirited, loyal, faithful, protective nature over our son. Warren is my middle name and my mom’s maiden name. Camden’s middle name is special to my dad’s side of the family, so we wanted this name to honor my mom’s side. Warren is a name associated with one of the best men I know, my grandfather. If Warren Kyle can be half as generous, witty, kind, and fun as “Grandy” is, then he’s off to a good start. I also love the significance behind the meaning of the name. The name means “protecting friend.” In many ways, this is the very nature God embodies towards us, and our prayer already is that Warren would be transformed by God one day and embody the Spirit of God in this way.
Kyle is a name that we both liked for a lot of reasons. First, I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve never met a Kyle that I didn’t like. Some names have certain track records with different people, and the Kyles of the world are nothing but good folk in my book. Another connection for me was the relationship I had with Kyle Lake. I would never claim to have been a close friend of Kyle’s, but I was fortunate enough to be loved and cared for by him during my undergrad years at UBC. He made me feel like we had a unique relationship, which was true with just about everyone Kyle knew. He also helped me through some of the most difficult months and years following the death of my sister. But most of all, Kyle was someone who had an infectious personality and incredible discernment. The name Kyle means “perceptive insight,” and this is a characteristic I believe will be crucial for Warren when it comes to navigating an increasingly complex world.
When I think about a Scripture passage that I want to pray over our son, Psalm 112 is what comes to mind. This is a poem/song about walking with God in the midst of turbulent times, but not being shaken because the psalmist’s confidence is in the Lord. The writer gives us a picture of someone who is supremely confident in God and His ways. Because of this trust in the Lord, it leads the psalmist to describe a person who is generous, fruitful, full of faith, and someone who stands for justice/righteousness. Near the middle of this psalm, the writer says in verse 4, “Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.” Our hope is that this is true for Warren Kyle. We hope that he reflects God’s light in the darkness and is someone that comes to embody the generosity, grace, and righteousness of Jesus.