(The Single Woman Series – Batch 2)
I know women who got married and changed their last name to the surname of their spouse. I also know of others who opted to add his name to their maiden name and even those that decided to maintain the status quo, by keeping their maiden name, without adding his at all.
My mother falls into the second category. She retained her maiden name but added her husband’s surname at the end of it. By the grace of almighty God, I intend to do the same.
It is important to note that there is nothing in the Bible that states that a woman upon marrying a man, must add his name to hers. In my view, it is very much a matter of personal choice and what each couple wishes to do.
However, for me, adding my husband’s last name to mine is significant for the following reasons:
- 1 – It is ROMANTIC. You get to be called by the name of the man you love, respect and admire so dearly;
- 2 – It is a mark of RESPECT. It is an act that is done out of respect for your husband. Nothing says, “I respect you”, more, in my view than to add his last name to yours. Of course it is possible to respect your husband and not add his last name to yours but in my view, the addition screams respect powerfully;
- 3 – It is an act of SUBMISSION on the part of the wife, an attitude that God requires godly women to have in relation to their husbands;
- 4 – It sends the message to your husband, that you TRUST, ACCEPT AND EMBRACE HIS LEADERSHIP;
- 5 – It is interpreted as you placing yourself from the very start, under the COVERING of your husband, thereby setting the tone early on for the covering role he is to have in your life, for the rest of your life. Can he cover you? Don’t ever marry and take on someone’s last name, if he can’t cover you spiritually, emotionally and physically;
- 6 – It underscores the significance of the marital UNION, in that there are no longer two persons but a merger of two into one. Think about it: You never have a situation where two companies merge after an acquisition and retain both names. That would be a recipe for distrust and confusion. The companies merge and one name is adopted to represent both in moving forward, as one;
- 7 – It promotes CLARITY AND INCLUSION as opposed to confusion and isolation, especially when the children arrive. They don’t have to worry about why they have daddy’s surname and mummy doesn’t and neither does the world. For, the entire family goes by one name;
- 8 – It sends a message to the world that the intention of the parties is for there to be PERMANENCY in marriage, without any back peddling and any backing out. Simply put, this is a lifelong covenant. Divorce is out of the question;
- 9 – It sends the message that you ACCEPT GOD’S ORDER AND PLAN for the family with the man at the head of the home and the head of the wife.
If you are like me though, where you spent your years thus far with a particular surname as inherited from your father, although you are excited about adding your husband’s last name to yours, you are a bit terrified of the idea of waking up one morning with a whole new name, your maiden name having been kicked to the curb, so to speak. Imagine being called ‘Jane Doe’ all of your life and waking up suddenly one morning after your Wedding and the necessary legal paper work has been completed, as ‘Jane Ray’.
I think that it is perfectly fine, even as my mother has done, to keep your maiden name and to add your spouse’s name at the end. In that way, the name change will not be too traumatic an experience for you, as you will still be Jane Doe, just with an addition – Jane Doe Ray.
This is what I intend to do. I definitely want his last name but added to mine. In my view, I have been through too much as a single woman and with my Lord before my husband even emerged on the scene, to just drop and abandon the surname I have used all of my life and take on a completely new name. This, in my view, would seem strange to me, be too sudden and could even be traumatic.
I want to keep my maiden name, which to me represents where I came from, my identity and how I have branded myself with God’s help, as a person thus far, which is precious. I want however, to add his last name to it, as I consider the marriage union, not as redefining who I am from scratch but adding to, improving and enhancing who I already am, as I go to that next level. It will not be a brand new me therefore but a better me.
If a woman opts to let go of her maiden name entirely though, nothing is wrong with that. I know of women, who for various reasons, could not wait to kiss goodbye to their maiden name completely and embraced the new surname from their spouse with open arms.
That is sweet. I just can’t do it and it is good to know that I am not required to. I want to remember who I was, even as God takes me to a new page and does something new with this man in my life. I guess therefore, that I want to have my cake and eat it too. Luckily, the Bible does not expressly prohibit this and the law provides for it!
(Written on 20th January, 2017)
Dear Reader, if you found this Article useful or interesting, then you will surely also be interested in reading the following Articles for more tips, information and details:
- Note 17 – ‘The Significance of an Engagement Ring’
- Note 130 – ‘Ladies, How Long Are You Prepared To Wait?’