As I write this we are awaiting the birth of our fourth son, Banner. I’m going to share why our son is named Banner and the significance of one of God’s names, Jehovah Nissi.
When I held my oldest boy, Oli Jo, in my arms in 2015 the reality that I was now a dad—someone responsible for this little life—hit me right in the face! I was excited, scared, and thankful all at the same time. The blessing of being a dad is a gift I can’t thank the Lord enough for!
Fast forward to 2023. Life is busy. We now have three amazing little boys running rampant in our home.
We now have superhero battles on Saturday, church on Sunday, and wrestling matches during the week.
We’ve come to terms with the reality that we probably won’t have nice things or a truly clean house until our boys are grown. That’s okay, I’ll take sleepovers in our room, shoes on the floor, and underwear in the kitchen any day.
For me, being a dad and raising these boys brings me so much joy. I’m raising warriors for God—and I don’t take that lightly!
Insert: A BIG surprise.
It was February. Looking at the positive test caught us both off guard but even in that “surprise” we felt immense joy and excitement as we learned our family was growing by one more.
One more named Banner.
Why the name Banner?
When we found out what the name Banner meant in the Bible, we knew right away that was supposed to be his name. Banner comes from one of God’s names: Jehovah Nissi.
This name for God carries a profound meaning and represents a powerful aspect of God’s character and nature. Jehovah Nissi translates to ‘The Lord is my Banner,’ and it signifies God’s role as our protector, defender, and provider.
The Lord has shown over and over that He’s our protector, defender, and provider.
Having a fourth baby was not in our plans. At least not yet.
But we also know God has a plan and a purpose for this baby (and for us). I don’t take it lightly that God is giving us the blessing and the task of raising and loving this new little human made in His image.
As my wife has said about our boys: They are His before they are ours. If we truly believe that then we know God is truly their banner.
We named this new little boy Banner as a reminder that God IS our banner. I want my son to know and remember God is his banner over his life. I want all my boys to know that about their lives.
Why is the name Jehovah Nissi so significant?
I love it when names have meaning. My wife doesn’t just pick a random name she likes when we are naming our kids. She prays about it. She seeks the Lord. We both do. I truly value her input. She’s pretty creative and listens to the Holy Spirit. Basically, she’s intentional!
She’s the one who came up with Banner after learning what it means. And when she told me I knew without a doubt that that was going to be our son’s name!
Banner. This name is special.
You see in in biblical times, a banner was a symbol of identity, unity, and victory. It was a visible representation of a nation or an army. Similarly, Jehovah Nissi represents how God is our eternal banner, guiding us, leading us to triumph over our enemies, and providing us with security and provision.
Our son’s name will be a reminder to himself of God’s banner over his life.
One significant instance where Jehovah Nissi appears in the Bible is in Exodus 17:15. After a fierce battle with the Amalekites, Moses built an altar and called it Jehovah Nissi, acknowledging God’s victory and protection. This event showcases how God fought on behalf of the Israelites, ensuring their victory and safety.
God is our banner. He is our safety and our provider. I really think naming our son Banner is a great way to remind our son (and his brothers) of who our God is.
Why is God’s Name Worthy of Attention?
God’s name is worthy of attention because it’s a reflection of who He is! His name is not merely a label; it represents who He is.
By knowing and understanding His different names, we gain insight into His divine attributes and qualities. Each name of God reveals a different aspect of His character, allowing us to develop a deeper connection with Him.
My son will one day learn his name reflects who God is. It’s my prayer it will help him know that he was created on purpose. That he’s no accident. That he’s an image barrier.
I want to be intentional in teaching my boys about Jesus. I want to use every opportunity I can to do that and if naming our son Banner, after Jehovah Nissi, is one small way to do that then I will.
The Importance of Jehovah Nissi
Jehovah Nissi reminds us that we are not alone in our battles. I want my son to know he’s not alone in the struggles he will face in this life.
I want my son to know his identity comes from his banner (Jehovah Nissi), not his sin or mistakes or what others say about him.
For me, I found my identity in many things growing up, such as relationships and accomplishments. I found myself facing many struggles because of that. Mostly due to the fact I didn’t know Jesus.
Banner will know his name comes from the One who made him. That’s not just his banner…that’s his everything.
Just as a banner provides guidance and protection to an army, God serves as our eternal banner. He leads us through life’s challenges and provides us with the victory we need. His name is a reminder of that. And now my son, every time he hears his name, will be reminded of that.
That’s what I pray all my boys learn. I’m on a mission to teach them this truth. It’s my job as their daddy to not just love them. It’s my job to also be the banner over them that leads to the eternal banner, Jehovah Nissi.
God’s name is not to be taken lightly or used in vain. We named our son Banner because we take seriously our pursuit of Jesus and it’s our prayer each of our boys will do the same one day!
As I await the arrival of my son, and I pen these words, I’m overwhelmed with joy and excitement!
As I watch how my wife carries our boy, I’m reminded of how God carries us. My wife is our son’s banner of protection while he’s in the womb. And during his life, our son will learn that God is his eternal banner of protection.
Over the last several months, as we’ve prayed over our boy and got everything ready for his arrival, I’ve come to have a deeper appreciation for the meaning behind names.
We didn’t want just another name. We wanted it to mean something.
Banner is more than just the name that will be on my son’s birth certificate. It carries weight. It carries purpose. It carries a reminder.
Each of God’s names carries deep significance and represents a unique aspect of His character.
Jehovah Nissi, the Lord is my Banner, will be just one of many ways I will tell my boys about Jesus.
So, Banner, while I wait to hold you for the first time we are praying: To the God who goes before us, we speak Your name, Jehovah Nissi, over our family, our kids, our home.
Do you do this over your family? If not, start today! It’s not too late.
I want my family to live with confidence under Jehovah Nissi. It begins with me and my wife. Our boys will be a reflection of the banner we live under. And we choose to live under the eternal banner, the One who goes before us, the One who sees and knows all things…Jehovah Nissi.
And now I wait with much excitement for your arrival Banner. I know Jehovah Nissi will be with us through this journey called parenting. I know He will also be our banner in the days, weeks, and years ahead. The Lord knows we will need Him.
I cannot wait to meet you, son! I already love you more than you will ever know!