We had talked about girls' and boys' names (we kept the sex a surprise!) and eventually went for Chloe, with the middle name Grace. Names are important: not only do they represent us in law and to one another, they give parents a chance to say something to their child, and in some cases say something about a person.
Of course we loved the names for what they are. But here are some more reasons behind choosing Chloe and Grace for our daughter.
Chloe is originally a Greek name which means 'blooming' or 'young green shoot'. It is lovely that Chloe was born as the cherry blossom was coming out in Lincoln, and spring was really springing.
But our inspiration was the Bible. I feel that basing names in the Bible is a great way to remember where we come from and are going to - namely God Himself. My name, Hannah's, and Rebekah's are all from the Bible too.
We don't know much about the Chloe in the Bible, where she is named by the apostle Paul as having a household which was concerned with unity in the church (1 Corinthians 1:11). She obviously knew Paul, and maybe even showed him hospitality. She was involved in her local church and desired for it to show God's glory.
I pray that our Chloe would have some of these attributes: showing hospitality and kindness to others, and being involved and concerned in her local church.
For Chloe's middle name we wanted to again be reminded of God when we speak of her.
There are lots of attributes of God that are used for names: Joy, Faith, Hope, for example. Grace talks of God's free gifts to us. Not only does He provide all we need - from delicious food and the fun activities we enjoy to modern technology and nature itself (God sustains and holds all things together, all the time) - but He has given His people salvation in Jesus, his son. Grace is being given something not earned or deserved - an amazing attribute, amazing grace.
And Grace is especially relevant in 2017 as the 500th anniversary of the Reformation: in 1517 Martin Luther began a return to the gospel in the global church which continues today. The Roman Catholic church of the day was charging for forgiveness from sin and teaching a whole host of things that we must do to earn salvation. Luther insisted they return to what the Bible teaches - that God saves by grace alone, through faith alone. Salvation is through nothing we deserve or can earn: it is given to us by God's grace.