“You have to have a son to carry on the family name.” Why do we hear this saying so much? When my wife and I got pregnant the first time I heard that a few times. Then after we had a girl people would tell me to try for a boy the next time. Then the second daughter came and folks told me to try one more time for a boy. This seems to be an ongoing thing for men especially. What is the big deal with this phenomenon. I think I am starting to understand it and want to give my reasons why I can care less.
From the very beginning of scriptures and time, family lineage was an important part of history. The amount of children was actually considered a sign of wealth and blessing among many people. You had more workers in the family and the more sons you had, the further the family name would spread. This was also important for God’s people to grow and spread throughout the earth. This traveled throughout kingdoms as well. Over time all the way until now, carrying on a family name has been held to an important standard. If a couple did not have a son, the family would sometimes look down on them. Women were celebrated more for every son they brought into a family as if it were a wage or accomplished task. I think this had a. more important reasoning in that time than it does now. With all that being said, this is why I don’t care about my name being carried on.
When people tell me I need to pass on my name I could feel a sense of pride coming from those who were telling me that within the family. It was almost as if they wanted to spread their name around through my children (possible sons). When I would tell people I am having a daughter (4 times in total) I would get a look of disappointment as if my wife and I have failed at carrying on the family business. After that initial disappointed reaction, they smiled and congratulated us. Now that we are not having anymore kids, have we failed as members of the Bordeaux family?
Another reason I don’t care if I have a son to carry on the family name, is that from a Kingdom perspective, my name doesn’t matter. Would a son be more of a son just because he will keep my last name forever, but my daughter be less because she takes on someone else’s name? No. The only name I truly care about is the name of Christ. If they are adopted into the body of Christ, the name of Bordeaux doesn’t matter. If we are not careful we can let this become an issue of pride and disappointment if our kids don’t ‘live up’ to the name we want them to.
Some people want their kids to restore the family name. I don’t think this is fair to the kids themselves. This leave little room for error and begs for perfection or the parents may become disappointed. A lot of parents want their kids to make them look great. Again this is an issue of pride that needs to be dealt with. If you want the family’s name restored, you do it yourself. Don’t pressure your kids to do it.
Not everyone fits into these categories. I do want to challenge anyone who thinks they need to have a son to carry on the family name to question why? Remember all the times in scripture where God changed the name of his children after they were grown. Don’t get too attached to your name or too prideful of it. The name of Christ is the most important name to be honored and exalted.