Whenever I tell someone that my name is Wynter, they normally want to know one thing. They want to know if I was born in the winter! I don’t blame them. It is a rare name choice and hearing it definitely begs for the whole story. However, those who only ask this question end up missing the information they are seeking.
Let me explain.
Yes, I was born in January in the Northeast. I don't know what the exact temperature was on the day of my birth, but I would guess it was somewhere between freezing and frozen. So in that sense, my name does make sense. However, there is much more to my name than what appears to be the obvious. The temperature on the day of my birth has little if anything to do with my mother's decision. Those who only inquire about my birthdate learn a little more about me but they actually miss the true motive behind my mother’s decision.
The story told by my mother is this- "There was a soap opera when I was a little girl and one of my favorite characters’ names was Wynter. I loved her and I loved watching the show. I always said that if I had a daughter when I grew up I would name her Wynter." And so she did.
So, that’s it. That’s how I got my name. I have to say, I have always loved my name, though there is no deep meaning or significance in its origin.
You see, even that story does not satisfy a true understanding of who I am. The truth is, if someone truly wants to know anything substantial about me then we are going to need to have a much deeper conversation than a few questions about the weather or even a black and white television drama!
Names are tricky like that. Knowing what to call a person can give a false sense of relationship and if you aren’t intentional then you may never find out who the person truly is. Unless you spend time getting to know the character of a person, you will really never get to know them at all.
This is the same truth I want my children to know about God. I don't simply want them to learn God's name and summarize His character based on a few albeit very significant stories. When it comes to knowing God, I pray their relationship is an ongoing journey of digging deeper, asking questions and experiencing His person that ultimately reveal the character of their Creator.
I want them to know Jehovah: The “I Am who I Am.” God is a person. I want them remember that we serve a very real and very personal God.
I want them to know Jehovah Jireh: “The Lord our Provider.”
I pray that they rest in His presence because they trust that God has all the power and ability to provide them everything they need.
I want them to know Jehovah Tsaba: “The Lord our Warrior.”
I want them to not fear any circumstance or person because he protects them, fights for them, and will always come to their rescue!
I pray they know Jehovah Shalom: “The Lord is Peace.” Knowing Him will remind them to keep their focus on Him and to stay calm even in the midst of scary situations.
I want to them know Jehovah Rohi: “The Lord my Shepherd.” I pray they know they can always depend on Him to lead and guide them and that they give Him complete control!
Oh this is just the beginning! There is so much more to know about Who God is! Knowing the many name’s of God reveals His character and experiencing Him in these names will strengthen their relationship with him.
It’s one thing for us to tell them. It’s another thing for them to experience Him.
Let’s teach our children to dig deeper and to ask questions that lead them straight to the heart of who God is.
Here is a start. Download these few names of God and when reading the Bible or in conversation encourage your children to connect the character of God with the scenarios they encounter.