How to Blog about Family – a lesson from Hagar and God

[From the archives.]

Bloggers face a dilemma about naming names when it comes to writing about family. Do we use real names? Aliases? What about using no names at all, just general referents such as wife, daughter, son?

I have decided that this decision is beyond me so I turn to all of you for help in choosing from the options I’ve come up with for my wife, children and me. Your job is to sift through the choices and vote on the best.

The only problem is I’ve forgotten which sets of options go with which family member* so I really do need your help. Tell me in the comments if you have discerned who goes with which options, and what they reveal about that person.

Noms de Blog

First Family Member:

Boadicea
Albert Schweitzer
Mulan

Second Family Member:

Eleanor Roosevelt
Molly Pitcher
The Terminator

Third Family Member:

Cool Hand Luke
Secret Agent Man
Deborah

Fourth Family Member (for this person choose no more than two names from each option):

Rosencrantz and/or Guildenstern
Tweedledum and/or Tweedledee
Lenny and/or Squiggy

 

Feel free to suggest your own names. You can’t do worse than I did. Also, each pseudonym really does reveal a trait for the family member. Bonus points to anyone who can figure out what they are.

Names Mean Something

God has many names in the Bible and they all reveal aspects of his character. Lord Provider, God Almighty, Lord of Hosts, Great Shepherd, Savior, King, Servant, Father, Spirit, Son, I Am.

One of God’s names in particular stands out to me for how he came to be known by it.

In Genesis 16 we read of Hagar, a servant of Sarah and Abraham. Sarah – who is barren – tells Abraham to take Hagar as a surrogate wife to bear him a son and heir. Yet as soon as Hagar is pregnant Sarah becomes bitter and resentful and mistreats Hagar so badly that she runs off into the desert knowing it will most likely mean death for her and the child she bears.

God has other plans for Hagar and her child.

Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

She [then]  – gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Genesis 16:9-10, 13.)

The phrase “the God who sees me” comes across as more than a mere response to God coming into her life. She is naming an aspect of God’s character. And God continues to watch over her and her son as the years go by and the generations pass. (See Genesis 21 and 25.)

So what is it about this name of God that stands out to me? There are two reasons. This appears to be the first time someone in the Bible ascribes a descriptive name to God, and it is given by a woman and a slave woman at that – a person who had no authority in her culture. Yet God allows her to place a new name on him.

Names can mean something and this one means much.

Which makes me grateful for Hagar’s place in God’s kingdom. After all, we are all subject to the God who sees us, and we can all call upon God by the name she gave him: The God Who Sees Me.

***

*Don’t worry that you might not know a thing about me or my family.** Stabs in the dark are just as welcome.

**Then again, you might be able to discern which options go with which person if you keep in mind that my family consists of my wife, our son and daughter who are each in their twenties, and me.

 ***

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4 Responses to How to Blog about Family – a lesson from Hagar and God

  1. ezerkenegedo says:

    I think God included this passage about Hagar giving Him a name to confound those who insist naming someone equals having authority over them! lol. Funnily they don’t use this as an example when they try to put this point across. In all seriousness it is a very special passage of Scripture. Good luck with your pseudonyms – I like the Tweedle and Squiggy options.

  2. I have always loved this descriptive name of God, and I don’t think I could have survived my life without believing this was part of His character. Interestingly, did you watch Avatar? This is close to what they say in there.

    • Tim says:

      I saw that movie but don’t remember that connection in it, Nancy.

      Regarding God’s names, knowing who Jesus is helps me to understand how God is the God who is with us and the God who sees us always. Jesus is all that and more.

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