It’s Only a Name

0508_Watching_peacocksNames are very powerful. In Bible times, people’s names truly meant something to them. Maybe without realizing it, they lived up to the meaning of their names. So it was life-changing (literally) when Jesus chose to change someone’s name to a name – and a role – that HE saw in them.

I don’t think things have changed that much. Today, names still matter. If your name means “mighty one” you know that internally and tend to live up to that thought and image. Yet, if you were named a name that came with a meaning such as, “forgotten one” that can be a meaning that can ingrain itself into your heart without you even realizing it.

There are other names that hold negative connotation to them; mother-in-law for example. I don’t know who the woman was who first gave this name a bad rap, but it’s forever the butt of jokes. And how about “step mom?” It’s very hard to overcome the publicity on that name.

It doesn’t seem like men’s names get a bad rap. No one ever cringes at a father-in-law or frowns at the mention of a stepfather.  So why us moms?

I think it’s because we just have a tendency to stick our noses where they don’t belong. Let’s face it – a mother-in-law gets a bad rap because she means well, but she just has to intrude a little.  She just can’t hold her tongue. It’s the way of the woman.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though.

I know many wonderful mother-in-laws who are an asset not a detriment to their families. (I personally have one!) I also know of people who claim to have had the most caring stepmothers ever, enter into their lives. So holding a certain title or name doesn’t have to label you for life. You can put a new meaning and connotation onto that title – and you should. Don’t let a history that comes with a name change who you are or who you can be. The true way to win the battle of a bad name is to change what the name means by living out the testimony.  It’s only a name after all, and we certainly don’t have to live up to bad press just because it simply exists! Defy the odds and prove you are different just by simply living it out. After all, a name doesn’t make you who you are – you do.

~ Dionna Sanchez is the Founder of the Emphasis On Moms Ministry. Visit the website today at


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ranee
    Aug 28, 2009 @ 13:50:13

    HI Dionna, its been awhile since I have had time to really reflect on your words due to school starting and getting back into a routine with my three boys. But on this subject of mother-in-laws, I have to say that it must be hard because if you think about it, a young woman comes along, and becomes a huge part of her sons life. It must be very difficult for a lot of mothers to let their boys go. I know it was for my mother-in-law because her own husband left her for another woman. So here I come, and she felt I took her son away. It had been 9 years since I met her son and we ended up eloping 6 1/2 years ago because the situation at the time was so bad. Now that we live in the same town, we get along much better. But anyway, back to the bad name. I have seen time and time again that the mothers have a hard time letting go of their sons. I hope and pray that one day, when my three boys bring home their true loves, that I will greet them into the family with open arms, heart and mind.


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