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Happily Ever After with His Wife’s Last Name

By: Bethany Baird

My younger sister, Ellissa, was sitting in Starbucks recently when she overheard a conversation by two of the baristas. It went like this:

Guy #1 “When I get married, I’m going to take on my wife’s last name because it’s more socially acceptable.”

Guy #2 “Really?”

Guy #1 “Yeah! It’s more socially acceptable these days.”

Wow! What a conversation.

I was aware of modern girls saying “no” to the name change, but I didn’t realize that guys were okay with taking on their wife’s last name.

That was news to me.

Thankfully one of my favorite authors has already tackled the tough topic of why it’s crucial to say “I do” to the name change. You can check out her article here.

I want to focus in on God’s incredible design for marriage and why you as a girl should shout for joy to take on your future man’s last name, and not the other way around.

Marriage isn’t about political correctness or social acceptance.

It’s about representing Christ and His relationship to the Church. It’s a paradigm that points to something greater than ourselves.

Christ is the bridegroom and we as the Church are the bride. It’s very clear throughout Scripture that we as girls represent the Church and guys represent Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27)

Think about it. When you accept Christ as your Savior He doesn’t take on your identity, you take on His (John 1:12)

You become:

  1. A new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

  2. A royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)

  3. A child of God (John 1:12)

  4. The body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27)

  5. A temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

  6. The bride of Christ (Revelation 17:7-9)

When you accept Christ as your Savior you take on His identity. You no longer represent yourself but Christ. You are His.

In God’s perfect wisdom He has chosen to make marriage a reflection of this picture. A picture of the gospel.

How foolish would it be for you to accept Christ as your Savior and then expect Him to take on your name? Or your identity? Pretty foolish.  

In the same way, as a Christian girl, it’s just as foolish to demand that your future husband (or current husband) take on your last name. How does that reflect the gospel in any way, shape or form? It doesn’t!

It’s not Biblical and it doesn’t point to the awesomeness of Christ’s plan for marriage.

Side Note: Before you blow your top remember that the guy represents Christ. What did Christ do for His bride? He laid down His life for her (Ephesians 5:25).

When we as Christians choose to fully accept Christ’s plan for marriage, it’s the most beautiful picture on earth. It’s a reflection of the greatest act of love ever shown. It’s a picture of the gospel. And you are being invited to represent that picture.

I love how Mary Kassian says it: “Since the relationship between husband and wife is a paradigm of the relationship between Christ and the church, Christian women who change their name model and bear witness to the reality of Christ changing our names when we enter a relationship with Him.”

Now tell me, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? I know I do!

I highly doubt Mr. Barista Guy #1 will ever read this blog but if by a miracle he does, I hope that He will change his mind about taking on his future wife’s last name.

It’s time we as girls joined together, and as Mary Kassian puts it “say I do” to the name change.

  • Will you say “I do” to the name change when you get married?

  • What do you think about a guy taking on a girl’s last name? Is it Biblical?

  • Are you willing to be a part of the incredible story of the gospel that God has allowed you to participate in?

  • If someone were to ask you “why should I as a girl take on my husband’s last name” what would you say?

I’d love to continue this conversation in the comments section below. Write me a note and I’ll be sure to get back to you.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com | alesk

Yellow Car. Just Married

 

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  • I, personally, have always cherished and looked forward to changing my last name to my husbands last name. I believe it’s a beautiful thing that really unifies the couple in a symbolic “becoming one flesh” and reaffirms that the man in the biblical leader of relationship.

    I love all y’all’s articles!

  • Happy Wife

    I remember as a young girl writing my name over and over again adding some random guys last name to mine to see if it looked good together. I was so excited to think about my “Knight in Shining Armor” and wondered what his last name might be. I was thrilled at the thought! Thank you for this article and reminding all of us what a beautiful design God has in marriage right down to our new last name! I’ve had the privilege write my husband’s last name on the end of my first name for over 32 years! I’m thankful to God and honored to be my husband’s “Mrs”.

  • Celtic Princess

    Taking his name is more than just remembering to write something else on your official documents, it also represents taking his authority and protection. Right now, my last name says, ‘I am a daughter of Mr. P. He is my protector, and if you mess with me, be prepared to face him over this!’ when you take your husband’s last name, it is the same deal, ‘I am the wife of Mr. X, if you mess with me, he will pulverize you!’ you are saying that there is a man who will stand up for you and is willing to lay down his life for you. You also earn certain rights and privileges as Mrs. X… I was recently babysitting for a lady who was staying at a hotel far swankier than anything I (on a student’s budget) can even imagine paying for, and she told me to put everything on the room. From a really nice dinner at the hotel restaurant to swimming in the hotel pool to watching a movie-on-demand in our room… all of these were privileges that she, as the hotel patron, was entitled to, and because I was with her, even though I could never afford any of these things, I benefited from them. It is sad to realize that some girls would forfeit the honor and dignity of walking around saying, ‘This man loves me and I belong to him.’ for hollow promises of power and fulfillment held out by feminist ideologies. It is not just a ‘social construct’ it is the way God designed things to be.

  • Africa

    I love my last name and probably won’t change it after marriage. I am me and I don’t think I “have” to or am “supposed” to change my name after marriiage.

  • Alenia Dark

    When I was younger, I always said I would never change my last name. I have no brothers, so seeing as my sister wasn’t planning on getting married, I thought it was my responsibility to carry on my last name, because it’s a pretty awesome last name. 😛
    However, as I have grown older and matured (only a little bit xD) I have realized that it is not my responsibility, and I actually look forward to seeing what my future husband’s last name (and eventually my last name) will be. Hey, maybe my sister will adopt or get married and keep our name, but whatever happens, if God wants my family name to carry on, it will. (Or maybe I will marry someone with my last name, who knows! :D) But hey, In God we Trust, right? I know I do. 🙂

  • Kristina1247

    I agree that a girl should change her last name to her husbands, but, I also think that it is okay for a girl to add her husbands last name to her own instead of completely substituting her maiden name for her husbands last name. Here is why; I was born a (last name) by Gods will and I am proud of the role my family plays in my church and how they shaped me into who I am today and I want to show that God intended for me to be a (last name) first and then my husbands. I look forward to meeting and marrying a godly man and adding his last name to my own.

  • MissAnubis

    I am a Christian school teacher. My husband and our seven sons have my last name. A husband is commanded to leave his family and cleave to his wife twice in the Bible. We are not walking outside the Word. Though last names are a relatively new social contrivance, it does not change the fact that my husband leads our household.

  • Naomi

    When I was younger I just assumed that I would change my last name when I got married, but now I am 26–and still enjoying my life as a single woman. If it is ever God’s will for me to marry, I would probably keep my last name, or go with a hyphenated surname now that I am established in my chosen careers and am known by my current surname. Personally, I think people put way too much stock in changing/not changing last names. It’s a cultural thing, and nowhere in the Bible is there a verse that says that a woman has to change her last name when she marries, or a guy can’t take his wife’s surname. I believe that it should be a decision made by the girl and the guy, based on what is right for them, not what culture dictates.

  • Tyra

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with the husband taking the wife’s name. What is important however is that it’s something they’ve talked about and agreed on so that neither on of them is feeling pressured. From the points you made in the article it would make a lot more sense if you’d come to the conclusion that they should decide on a completely new name since both of them is starting something new together. However I think it should be completely up to the man and woman since it’s not something the Bible actually says something about.

  • Dolly

    My uncle took his wife’s last name when they got married. Which I always thought that was weird.

    I totally agree with your points. Marriage is NOT about political correctness! I love that.

  • Taytay

    It seems to make sense from a Biblical view why a woman would change her last name to her husbands…but I want to know what the women did back in Biblical times. They didn’t have last names back then, I don’t think, so how did their identity/name change after marriage? Can anybody tell me?

  • Lorelei Thorne

    I’m late to the game on this, but PRAISE GOD for this article. I have tried countless ways of explaining to my fellow Christian women why we should take on the man’s name and that it isn’t some human desire to own another or a way to suppress a woman’s role or importance. Thank you for this concise and spot on explanation of why women should rejoice in the name change. God bless!!

  • Shanae B

    Totally agree. It upsets me that there are guys taking the wife’s last name. It isn’t as bad but still terrible when they hyphenate them together. One solitary couple I know who hyphened names it doesn’t bother me as much because the mom married another man instead of the oldest child’s biological father (who was negative for the child) and if the mom died before they were 18 it would have kept them out of coustity from the biological father.

  • Emma A

    In South America the women don’t change their names, children have always just taken both of the parents names, are they less Christian because of it? Also seems a bit much (even arrogant) to compare one’s husband to Jesus. You are not your husband’s creation, or child, or body or so on. Comparing your relationship to your God (of divine nature) to your relationship with your husband (another human being) seems absurd at best, and blasphemous at worst.

    • Shanae B

      No husband or wife is comparable to God. This post is about marriage names (primarily in Europe and the U.S.) not names given at birth. If you actually read this (which I’m not sure you did) what they’re saying is that the marriage relationship is an example of how Christ loves the Church. A way for humans to understand that love. It has nothing to do with the creation, child, body Mumbo jumbo that you’re throwing out there.


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