Consensus naming

Have you ever heard the phrase, “The Holy Spirit works through consensus”? My mom says it a lot, and I’ve found it to be so true in regards to my husband’s and my naming process.

I’m sure you’ve participated in or witnessed a similar scenario: Mom likes these names, Dad hates them all. Mom asks Dad what names he likes; he either doesn’t have any suggestions, or his suggestions are the total opposite of Mom’s taste. My husband, who (as I mentioned before) has always joked (?) that “Bob” is his naming style, has teased me that if the naming of our children were left up to me, they’d be named Nicodemus and Hezekiah . He uses that example to point out how lucky our kids are that they have a dad who tempers their mom’s crazy taste! Maybe he’s right. (I do love Nicodemus.)

But if the naming of the children were left up to my husband, I have a sneaking suspicion they’d have names like Boy #1 and so on (George Foreman style), or whoever his favorite football player happened to be at the time, or he’d end up asking for my help because he didn’t have any ideas. I could see this happening especially in the beginning of our parenthood– now that we’ve named a few kids together, he’s definitely gotten some good ideas.

I have found time and time again, though, that they absolute height of baby naming satisfaction for me is when my husband and I hit on that name that we both agree on. It might not be my very favorite name or his, but I find that I’m much happier and more peaceful with our choice knowing that we agreed on it together. I think I would actually hate it if I got my way, if my husband gave in– I want him to love his children’s names too.

I know this might not be the case for every couple– I know more than one couple with naming agreements, where, for example, the mom gets to name the girls and the dad gets to name the boys, or the firstborn son gets named with a tradition important to dad’s family, so mom gets to choose son #2’s name. And I do have a list of beloved boys’ names that I’ll never get to use because my husband just does not like them (hmmm … future post?). But in the end, I really do love that we named each one of our children together.


I do want to note, in light of the post where I explained that Raphael’s name was one I lobbied hard for and that my husband eventually came around, that my husband is the kind of man that will not be forced to do anything he hasn’t already firmly, prayerfully, thoughtfully decided is something he wants to do. He owns all of his decisions and choices, and it’s one of the things that I both admire the most about him (he’s no pushover) and find the most infuriating (if he won’t be moved, he won’t be moved). So even though it may sound as though I coerced him into agreeing to the name I liked, I’ve never worried that that’s actually the case (because I would really hate feeling like I bullied him into something). Rather, he truly decided that he liked it, that it grew on him (all that lobbying can’t have hurt!).

3 thoughts on “Consensus naming

  1. In our house, we have an awesome agreement that I get to choose all the names! It’s a little more detailed than that, but basically that’s how it works out. I would never choose a name he really hated, and I did have to set aside my favorite boys’ name (Peter) because of this. But overall, it has been a pretty cool deal for me since I REALLYNcare about names and he is less invested. As I watch my sister and her husband battle over EVERY NAME, EVERY TIME, and as he’s vetoed names she’s loved for years and years, I’m very grateful.


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