Carry My Name with Integrity
My last name is Mearig and I wear that name with pride. I also protect the integrity of that name to the very best of my ability. Why? Not because it is famous but because it belongs to my dad and he was willing to give it to me. I was not only responsible, at the point of conferment, for my father’s name but also for that of my mom and my brothers. I have done the same with my family.
When I married, my wife honored me by taking my name. She knew she was sharing in a very important part of my life. Not only was she joining my family but agreed to share the responsibility of holding our last name in high regard. (Note: I in-turn have agreed to protect her family name as well.) We lived our life in such a way to maintain the integrity of our family name.
The children my marriage produced have the same responsibility to protect the integrity of our last name. When they were younger they were not fully aware of the responsibility placed upon them. Therefore, it was our parental duty to raise our children in a loving, caring and disciplined environment that taught them the importance of character and how that would affect our family name. Lessons they can carry into their adult lives and teach to their children. There were times when they would ask why they had rules that friends did not. I let them know that they represented the family name and those with whom they interact would make judgements, based on their actions, that could tarnish our name. They learned well and have taken the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of our name quite seriously into their adult years.
Maybe you think this a little overboard for just a name. I believe it is important and can affect the life of many who share in that family name. However, why just that name. Isn’t personal character more important than my last name? Isn’t how a person acts, what they give back and how they serve just as important? Of course that is true but by behaving in such a manner you build personal character and accountability that becomes associated with the name. They cannot be separated which brings me to the meat of this post.
As a Christian I have taken the name of Christ. A name that surpasses my name as to eclipse making my name insignificant in comparison. When I take the name of Christ I take with it the responsibility to behave, give, serve and live in a manner worthy of the Name. The people with whom I interact, work and live will never physically meet Christ, in their time on earth. Their only perception of His name and worth can be directly associated with me as I claim to take His name as my own. The responsibility is weighty and real. When I fail, and I do, I tarnish the reputation of the name of Christ. I can, through my actions, create a magnet effect to draw and to repel. I must do all I can to make the name of Christ attractive to all I contact. My character must be such that my actions, when called into question, prove true to His character.
I also had the added responsibility to teach my children similarly. They needed to see how important the name of Christ was in my life and in the life of their mother. While we, as parents, cannot make them take the name of Christ we can model for them in such a way that draws them to make that decision at the appropriate time. (Which I am pleased to say they have.)
Only when I live in such a manner can I fulfill my call to draw men to Him.