Home Of The Brave

What is the deal with kids’ names these days? It seems the old rules of naming offspring were thrown out with cassette players, and now people feel they can name their children anything that comes to mind. I mean adjectives for names, are you kidding me?

I am kidding you, because our third son is named Brave.

I remember when I was pregnant with him, people would say things like, “You aren’t seriously thinking of naming him that, are you?” One person said, “Why couldn’t you just pick a name that means brave?” To which I replied, “What means brave more than the name Brave?”

One concerned party worried, “What if he is born with a timid nature…with a name like that?” My husband looked at the person for a moment and then replied, “With a name like that, there’s no way he could be timid.” My husband was right. Think about it, if people called you “Wonderful” all day long, wouldn’t you start to believe it?

And yet here’s the interesting thing about our son Brave. He wouldn’t be the kid you’d see hanging from a cliff by a tree root. He doesn’t dart across the road, approach total strangers, or aspire to be a wild animal trainer. In fact, he spends a lot of his time deep in thought, considering his surroundings, and plotting his next move very carefully. Do these characteristics make him less brave? That depends on what definition of brave we are using.

In Veronica Roth’s debut novel Divergent, bravery and selflessness are determined to be synonymous. As the story unfolds, the heroine discovers that real bravery means the willingness to lay one’s well-being aside for others, and for the greater good.

According to this definition, Jesus Christ was the bravest human being who ever lived.

But what does bravery look like for those of us who will never die on a cross to save all of humanity?

My husband has a tough job. He represents the needs of our host culture in his dealings with fellow foreigners, and he represents the needs of fellow foreigners in his dealings with our host culture. He is the middle man, the mediator, and often times he gets thrown under the bus, so to speak. There are always one or two people from one camp or another who are dissatisfied with him. But here is what my husband has come to realize: he didn’t move halfway around the world so that people would like him. I am proud to say (and he’ll blush when he reads this) that my husband is the bravest man I know. He’s never jumped out of an airplane, or climbed Mt. Everest, but every day I watch him lay aside his desire for approval in order that two very different cultures might one day learn to serve together in unity and with mutual respect. That is bravery.

So I encourage you, my sisters, to keep pressing onward in whatever capacity the Lord has put you. It is brave what you are doing, and your daily sacrifices do not go unnoticed. When your time on Earth is through, your Creator will say, “Well done,” and you will live forever in the true land of the free…the true home of the brave.

Who do you know who could be named “Brave?”

Photo Credit : Unsplash


  1. Elizabeth November 18, 2014

    “What means brave more than the name Brave?” Love your response!!

  2. Danielle Wheeler November 19, 2014

    Yes, so much of brave living is about laying aside the desire for approval.  It’s about leaning hard into what matters more.  What a way to teach your son this HUGE life lesson, through his name!

    And thanks for the reminder that the daily sacrifices don’t go unnoticed.  It feels petty to want recognition for some of those sacrifices.  But He knows, and that’s all that matters.

  3. T November 19, 2014

    Just following off of Daneille’s comment…He does know! whoo hooo!  and I think that there is this part of His heart that we get to know now, that some of our sisters who haven’t gotten their hearts stirred for the nations don’t have the foggiest idea about.  I think that a huge blessing is that we get to know that part of His heart now, and that when this is done, and there is the new heaven and the new earth, and people from every nation worshiping –just how special that will be to us.  We who have prayed and strived and seen Him working and waited to see Him work.  I’m sure others will be like, “This is so cool!” but we’re going to be like IN it and breathing and knowing and reveling and the Father is gonna wink at us and say, “Didn’t I tell ya!  This is IT!”

    Sorry, this isn’t so much about Brave, but it sprang out.  I think I needed reminding!  Maybe sometimes Brave for me is continuing to believe that the time is coming.  That Truth is more real than anything I’m seeing around me now, and that this life and all the pain I’m seeing around me is just a quick flash of time.  That He is still Good and that He is Just and that He cares.

  4. Grace L November 19, 2014

    I had to be brave today to share my vulnerabilities and weakness (including my fears and some tears) with the two young ladies from the local culture that I am mentoring. Fear is a big issue in this culture, and I believe that God wanted to use me to show them how I had to battle the fear that was creeping in. I asked them to read aloud to me some of God’s promises in His Word. They prayed for me and then together we sang one of my favorite songs, “Whom Shall I Fear?” Oh, what power we sang that together with. I was released from that fear and my two dear sisters were built up. For me, that is what I think bravery is like.

    1. Kayla Rupp November 21, 2014

      This is victory! Fear and bravery are indeed antonyms, but like my husband always tells my boys, being brave doesn’t mean not being afraid, it means being afraid and doing it anyway. Amen.


  5. Monica November 21, 2014

    I love this topic!  Thanks for your post Kayla!  Like you with your hubby, I really see my husband as a Brave person. He advocates for minority language education in the poorest province in our country and is constantly met with challenges, injustices, bureaucracy, apathy, and hopelessness. And yet, he has worked tirelessly for years alongside village leaders and other partners to fight for people who are marginalized or forgotten.  When others would have given up, he presses on with grace, patience, and a humble attitude- striving to be the ‘learner’ even though he is the ‘expert’. I admire his genuine love and care for everyone- from the highest government official to the six year old village girl who wants to read and write in her own language.  It’s not without it’s ‘bad days’, but I truly have learned so much about Bravery from ‘my man’.  And it’s not just in his work-life, he’s like that in our home too.  Thankful for that today… now I’m gonna go give him a hug!

    1. Kayla Rupp November 21, 2014

      They tirelessly press on. I hear ya! I love how injustice and hopelessness are fought through the use grace and love. Inspiring.

  6. Shelly November 23, 2014

    Brave was my brother who lived with the full knowledge that he probably wouldn’t see his daughter married or his youngest son graduate from high school.  He and his wife had chosen quality of life over an unlikely kidney transplant that couldn’t guarantee a better life later.  I never heard him complain or question this path in his life, and it came to a sudden end just a few months ago. I am so grateful that God moved us to share our impressions of the other, even if only through Facebook chats because of the miles between. I knew he was proud of me, his little sis, and the work I was doing abroad. And he knew I considered him brave for the choices he had made.

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