Tuesday, March 26, 2013


"Though we are given names before or shortly after we emerge from the womb, our names are often reflections of who God has created us to be or the work God wants to do in our lives."  - Margaret Feinburg
I have a love/hate relationship with the baby naming process. 

I absolutely love having names that are really interesting, unique, and have a great meaning. However, I hate the tedious process it takes to come up with a name that is interesting, unique, and has a great meaning. It can be very difficult to meet all three of these criteria. 

Now that we have had our third son, Rohan (pronounced Rowen), I would like to take a minute and provide a brief description of each of our three boys names. Here is the meaning behind the name and why we chose each one.

Maxton's name was the most arduous name for Gina and I to choose. Most parents probably have their children's names all picked out before they are even married, but this was simply not the case for Gina and I. 

I knew that I wanted a good meaning and she knew it had to be unique, other than that we did not have a clue where to start

As we tore through every baby name book at the library and every baby name website, we both really started to like the name Max. Gina did not like "Max" on its own and so we pursued alternative options. Maxwell, Maxamillion, Maximus etc but none of them felt right. I saw in one book that Maxton was an English surname and threw it out to Gina hoping she would bite. We both loved it.

The reason why I liked the name, Max, so much is that is means "Great". I want my son to be great at whatever he does in life. Whatever passion and dream that stirs in his heart, I do not want him to ever settle for being "OK" at something or "just getting by". I want him to excel and do incredible things with the time he has here on earth. This is not to say that I expect him to be perfect or strive for perfection. Nobody is and I get that. I simply what him to believe that God can do something incredible, something great, through Maxton.  

Maxton's middle name is Lukas. This means "Light". By pairing these two names together it becomes the prayer of Gina and I for Max. A pleading prayer that God would use him to be a "Great Light"

In the Bible we are told that christian's, those who choose to follow Jesus, are the "light of the world". As followers of Jesus, we should let the light of Jesus, the expression of His love that he has for others, and the truth he offers, be something that shines incredibly bright for all of the world to see and be changed by. 

Whatever Maxton chooses to do with his life, I hope and pray that the light of God, the love and hope he offers people will be something that illuminates a dark world through Maxton's life.

When we decided to try and have a second baby I was thrilled at the thought of adding to our family! I was extremely thrilled when we discovered that this desire was going to be a reality in our life. Baby #2 was on his way...wait a minute! That means we have to come up with another name...ugh! Again, we tore through books and websites, but this time I discovered a name in a random place. I remember sitting at a deacon's meeting, at our church, one night and our folders had on the front cover DEACON : A SERVANT written on the front of the folder. I thought to myself, wow! Now that is something I would love for my son to be known for. So I pitched it to Gina and it stuck.

There is a scene in the bible (Mark 10:35ff) where two brothers, James and John, come to Jesus and in a round about way ask God to make them great. There is apparently brotherly rivalry taking place. Jesus tells them that the one who wants to be great will be the one that is the servant to the others.  He gives them as an example himself, he did not come to be served (although he was God and deserved to be served) but he came to serve. In fact, he came to give his life up for others. 

I think about my son, Deacon, and I do not think there could be said anything better, or greater, about him someday than that he is a boy/man that lived a life that put others before himself. People wrongfully assume servanthood is a life of weakness, but if you think of all of the public servants; firemen, police, military these are not weak individuals but people who have dedicated there life to putting others needs ahead of their own. There is something remarkable about that.

Deacon's middle name, James, is actually the only name that we have chosen after an a person we know. The son of my namesake is somebody that I believe is truly a servant of God. Jamie Miller is somebody who has dedicated his life to serving God and other people by proclaiming the message of Life that God offers us through his son, Jesus. I would love for my son to live a life like Jamie, choosing to honor God, follow Jesus closely, and serving the world well.

Then along came #3! 

When we found out we were having another baby I had kind of hoped we would have a girl, only because then I would not have to come up with another boy name. 

Ok, that is not completely true. I was thrilled to find out we were having another boy. It was going to be a difficult process to find a name that was meaningful and interesting (and rhymed with the first two) so I went right to work.

Eventually I discovered a website that allowed you to search names based on a specific suffix. We liked the idea of having the name rhyme with Maxton and Deacon so I perused the names ending in -on, -en and -an.

After scrolling through the hundreds of names with a similar sound I came across the name Rowan. I really liked it. I also loved the nickname "Ro". The name just seemed "tough". I figured that if you are going to be the youngest of three boys I assumed a tough name might fit him in the future.

One of the variant spellings of Rowan is Rohan. I knew Gina would like the different spelling so that is what I suggested to her first and it stuck. Rohan means "red-haired" but it also means "AscendING". We went with the later meaning, as it would appear he did not have red hair :)

When Gina was adopted, the paperwork at the hospital said "Baby Girl Crosby". When we learned that fact about her past, we decided that Crosby would be a fantastic middle name for Rohan.

The meaning of Crosby is "at the cross". Now, some people might look at the pairing of his names and be confused. Normally, when you think of somebody that is ascending you do not typically think of an ancient roman form of capital punishment. "Ascending at the cross" seems like a paradox to the average mind.

However, when you read the Bible you will discover that it is filled with paradox.

For example:

There is strength in weakness
  • 2 Cor. 12:10 .....For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Those that give actually receive.
  • Acts 20 :35.....‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Serventhood to God actually leads to freedom
  • Romans 6:22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.
Finally, the last example is the greatest paradox of all in the Bible. We were all made to be in a relationship with God. We were all made to ascend to the heights of heaven and enjoy a perfect relationship with God forever. However, God is perfect and because we wrong him and fail to keep his law we are not able to ascend and enter a relationship with him.

However, even though God is perfect and demands perfection from us, he does not leave us in our poor state of being. Jesus descended from heaven (Philippians 2) to ransom us from the penalty we had been sentenced to because of our sin against God . We deserved death for our sin (which is why all humans die) but by his death on the cross, if we accept His payment on our behalf, we can now ascend into a perfect relationship with God. When we come near the cross and accept Jesus, we are able to ascend into a relationship with God. Near the cross there is life for all people!

This is the theme of the Bible. God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to die for us, so that we could be with him in heaven when we die, and we can experience a life of acceptance, impact and purpose here on earth now.

Rohan Crosby means "Ascending at the Cross", this biblical narrative is the greatest story of all time and it is my prayer that my son Rohan (as well as Maxton and Deacon) comes to know this story and believe it! It is my prayer that he lives this story. That he looks up to God and sees a God that pursued him by accepting him even when he had done wrong.

I pray that the reality of God's love, that he has made a way for everybody to ascend to Him at the cross, fuels a fire in all my boys hearts, to be a great light in the world, serving God and all the people in this world with passion and great urgency

As Margarert said in the quote at the beginning, I hope when they hear their names they remember "our names are often reflections of who God has created us to be or the work God wants to do in our lives."

Now to name baby boy #4...

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