Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's a Boy!

Welcome to the world, EPHRAIM LOUIS HALL!
Our first child was a healthy baby boy born Friday, January 13, here in Richmond, Virginia.  Ephraim weighed 7 pounds, 11.5 ounces, with a length of 21 inches.  After Ephraim was past his due date, the doctor said we needed to induce labor.  The whole induction and labor process took three days, and labor itself was over 36 hours.  My wife Olivia is a real warrior!

"Is not Ephraim my dear son,
the child in whom I delight?
Though I often speak against him,
I still remember him.
Therefore my heart yearns for him;
I have great compassion for him,"
declares the LORD.
(Jeremiah 31:20)

We named him Ephraim ("fruitful") for several reasons:

(1) We want our home to be a godly home where the peace, love, and joy of the gospel bear fruit.  Throughout the Bible, the godly home is portrayed as one of fecundity, fruitfulness, and blessing (see Psalm 128).

(2) As we raise our son in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4), we pray that he will become someone who trusts in the Lord and delights in his law, and so never fails to bear the fruits of Christlike character (Psalm 1; Jeremiah 17:7-8; Galatians 5:22-23).

(3) Throughout the Bible, Ephraim (Israel) is the wayward child of God, his faithless people.  But God couldn't forsake his beloved child, after whose heart he yearns (see Jeremiah 31:20 above and the entire book of Hosea).  The name Ephraim is a reminder to us to keep God's persistent, unfailing love at the center of our parenting.  Rather than jinxing our child with such a name (which is faulty superstition based on fear, not faith), the more we keep the gospel central and let it shape how we treat this child, the more likely it will be that he too will fall in love with his God.

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