Do We Change Our Last Name?

One of the most important questions that 2 boys pondered as their mom and her fiancé discussed marriage. Clark was much easier to spell and pronounce. Little did we know that a new last name would present all manner of pronunciation woes for the rest of our lives: Weideman. It is pronounced, “We-da-men” but without any weird pauses.

For my brother and I, aged 6 and 4, it was simple. Mom gets married, we change our last name. We were blind to the legalities involved in adoption by a step parent. The actual legal adoption and name change would take several years.

But for us, it was clear. Two years without a dad was ending. We had a new dad and a new name. Two boys could never explain the psychological and emotional drought absent a father could cause. We couldn’t explain our need for a sense of safety and security that a father can bring. We couldn’t articulate the tremendous need for a masculine role model.

If you asked us to explain why we were happy we would never be able to tell you that we felt like we now belong. Did we belong when it was just us and our mom? Yes, but without a father, there was a belonging void that only a father could provide.

This is the same predicament that we all find ourselves in as humans. Since the start we have struggled to know our place, our value, and our name. We choose at some point, like Adam and Eve, to rebel and to make a name for ourselves. This rebellion leads us down a road of hardship and pain that can only be redeemed by the Father. How does he do that? Through adoption.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:4-6

The “he” in these verses is God the Father. Scriptures tell us that before creation itself, his plan was for us to belong. You. Me. He chose us to belong to him. He loved us enough to adopt us through his son, Jesus. My favorite part of these verses is “in accordance with his pleasure and will.” God was happy (pleasure) to bring us into his family. He arranged it from the beginning. His whole purpose (will) was to build his eternal family.

He wants you to be part of that family. He wants those around you to be part of the family. He is actively working through his church to bring light into the darkness and to welcome the lost and the missing. He is making his name known and inviting the world to belong through that name.

“I [Jesus] will also write on them my new name.” Revelation 3:12

This month Discovery is focusing on missions. You will hear about how we as a church family partner with others in local and international efforts to invite and welcome more into God’s family. You will be challenged to consider your part in God’s mission to the world. I invite you to pray for God to speak to you on how you can belong to the work of adopting more into His family.