I recently came across a very interesting but sad description of a family’s lineage. Dr. Kevin Leman* describes his as ‘A Well-Watered Ancestry’. This is not to be confused with the charming, progressive, and healthy type of ancestry. “I come from a long line of drinkers,” says Dr. Leman. “Virtually all Lemans enjoyed slugging down a few cold ones. Okay, not a few. Many.” Not many people I know desire to provide such an ancestry or build a similar foundation for their family.
When we first discovered that we were going to become parents, the joy I felt is indescribable. My heart nearly burst with pride. I was going to be a father! However, questions ravaged my poor mind like a bad storm and tore at my innards like the worst tornado ever. Would I be a good father? How would I take care of the growing family? What if I lost my job, then what? Will the baby ‘steal’ my time with my wife? Would my employer insist on sending me out on mission for extended periods? And many more!
My mind was desperately trying to answer, “What is your name?” It was a desperate attempt to begin molding the definition of my family and the identity that would be its anchor.
To appreciate where we were coming from, we will have to go back to the beginning. Like Dr. Leman, I too had a ‘well-watered’ ancestry, especially on my father’s side. My grandfather loved the tipple, I have no recollection of a single night he came home sober during those days we would be visiting him and my grandmother. My uncle and two aunties also partied hard. Alcohol was a feature in any of our family events, it is a miracle that some of us did not end up thoroughly imbibed at a very tender age!
With this background, I had to break traditions that were not healthy for my life and that of my new family too. It was time to reclaim the dignity of the name. This identity would go against common-speak and stand out for its resilience, integrity, and above all, a spirit of servant-leadership.
Naming our children was not going to be routine, it was not a labeling process. It was a re-birth of my wife and I. We were going to bestow a legacy upon our children. From birth they were going to walk in the promise, a promise that they were made for greatness. Please note that, in greatness, I do not necessarily mean they will become celebrities or some beings with an elevated status. I would not mind if they did, but this was not the primary focus.
Their names were just the first step to a future where they would become people that matter. They would become pillars of hope in a world of pain, deceit, poverty, and mediocrity.
How are you taking charge of leadership in your home? What deliberate steps are you making to become that intentional leader your family deserves?
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6