Your future wife should be happy to take your last name

Another interesting topic has come out of reddit: I didn’t know that a Biblical view on a wife taking her husband’s last name would get downvoted or even opposed in the RPChristians reddit.

This means that this is probably another one of the cultural blindspots for Christians. Most Christians stated that name-taking was merely a “cultural phenomena” and one made the argument that it appears to be an “abuse of authority” that a wife should take your last name.

Overall, I disagree with the people who say there are no Biblical arguments for this.

Genesis 2:24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

A woman leaving her name behind signifies she is becoming a new family unit with her husband. It is the husband who separates from his father and mother and becomes the head of the family, and the wife who joins him. They become one flesh, as a new family.

This is also practiced in almost all cultures. There are only a few exceptions.

John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

The reason we take on the name of “Christian” is because we are followers of Christ and adhere to His teachings.

Likewise, as Christ is the head of man (1 Cor 11) and Christ is the head of the Church (Eph 5), the husband is also the head of the wife (Eph 5) and the wife is a helper to her husband (Gen 2). There is a clear parallel of headship/authority where the one under authority also assumes the identity of the one that is leading.

Some other evidence pointed out in the post:

  • Genealogies in Scriptures track sons and fathers
  • God renames Abram/Abraham, Sarai/Sarah, Saul/Paul, Jacob/Israel, etc.
  • Christ renames Christians (Rev 2)
  • Adam names Eve

So yes, a wife should take her husband’s last name for Scriptural reasons. There are also good secular and cultural reasons such as in eye of the law for family management (healthcare, finances, etc.).

I do not see any good reason not to except to follow the “trends” of today’s culture, and we all know how “Christian” those are.

A future wife should be HAPPY to take your last name. This can be a yellow or red flag that you run into with a potential wife candidate if she is opposed to refuses to take your last name. This can be covert feminism coming to the surface.

The funny part for those who disagree a wife should take their husband’s last name is that by keeping a wife’s last name you get double the Patriarchy: your last name from your father and her father’s last name. Have a good laugh at that.

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12 Responses to Your future wife should be happy to take your last name

  1. earl says:

    Most Christians stated that name-taking was merely a “cultural phenomena” and one made the argument that it appears to be an “abuse of authority” that a wife should take your last name.

    ‘Abuse of authority’ by taking his name. What will they come up with next?

    Although I will take that term and use it for women who think abortion is ‘reproductive rights’.

  2. @ earl

    To be absolutely fair, here’s the quote:

    You quote Jesus, “Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” and rightfully so. Yet you ignore his commands. You appeal to his authority over the church but you ignore how he used this authority.

    The commenter claimed he didn’t call it “abuse of authority,” but that’s pretty much what it implies. A husband wanting his wife to have his last name is ignoring how Christ used His authority.

  3. earl says:

    ‘Yet you ignore his commands. You appeal to his authority over the church but you ignore how he used this authority.’

    Names are important as well as the function…if I own a home I want it in my name. That doesn’t mean I ignore what the purpose of the roof is for.

    Trying to split it into either-or is the heart of what’s going on here.

  4. Derek Ramsey says:

    It is a big read flag if a woman who doesn’t want to take her husband’s last name. It would indicate the wrong attitude going into the marriage. But is it wrong from a biblical stance?

    “A woman leaving her name behind signifies she is becoming a new family unit with her husband.”

    This is true, but it’s also incomplete. When a husband and wife become one flesh, this is not merely a joining of two persons, but a joining of blood relations. To borrow the cliched warning: when you marry a woman, you marry her whole family. This is why a man could not, by Law, marry his deceased wife’s sister: it was considered incest, even though they did not literally share the genetics. When a husband and wife married, they became (spiritual) blood relations on both sides.

  5. Scott says:

    The sacrament of matrimony takes two otherwise unrelated people and makes them family (next of kin, actually).

    It does this using a similar procedure to the way that baptism makes you family to all of the Christians past present and future.

    We all take the family name of “Christian” because collectively, we are the bride of Christ. It’s really not that difficult.

  6. Robin Munn says:

    Playing devil’s advocate for a minute, because I sometimes enjoy arguing for positions I don’t actually hold, I could see a rational argument that based on Genesis 2:24, the husband should take his wife’s name. I’ll put the devil’s-advocate argument in italics, then my commentary (which I do actually believe) in regular type:

    Genesis 2:24 says, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Note that it’s the man who leaves his father and mother, not the woman. So, logically, he should change his name as a symbol of leaving, and take his wife’s name as a symbol of being united. Our cultural values, where the wife takes the husband’s name, are the opposite of what the Bible actually teaches.

    Now, I’m being facetious here. BUT… I could actually conceive of a few people honestly making that argument, while being totally faithful to Scripture (e.g., believing that the wife should submit to her husband, while the husband should lead his wife in a loving way, and so on). I haven’t actually encountered that argument in real life, and don’t really expect to encounter it advanced by someone who’s being honest and faithful to Scripture. But as an intellectual exercise, how would you address this argument if someone did make it honestly? I think the Rev. 2 argument (that Christ renames Christians rather than the other way around) is probably the strongest, and the arguments from culture are probably the weakest. But what do you think?

  7. @ Robin Munn

    The context of roles best supports the point. Man is becoming independent of his family, while the woman is being joined to her husband as the helper/helpmeet.

    A man being independent does not mean that his identity changes, but that there is the initiation of a new life apart from the old.

    Cell division is a good analogy to that. A cell divides and becomes two that are similar (in name) but independent from each other.

  8. AngloSaxon says:

    Women in the old testament took their husbands name and your future wife should take yours as well.

    Isaiah 4:1 “In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say, “We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes; only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!”

  9. Lexet Blog says:

    Isaiah 4:1 is what our society will soon become.

  10. white says:

    “RP”Christians (more like ComplementarianChristians) is a hilarious sub I’ve been keeping tabs on for some time now. While mostly operating under the guise of “self-improvement’, try mentioning topics most offensive to complementarians and the sub quickly shows it’s true side. Surprised you got so involved? One of these days Dalrock or someone really should pay them a visit, it would be beautiful to watch

  11. @ white

    It’s true in a lot of cases.

    As for why… Christian men need help, so I’m trying to help. These men at least want help unlike most of the commenters on the blogs like Dalrock who just want to complain or peddle their odd views. I’m sure you can guess who I’m talking about.

  12. Pingback: Anonymous Leadership - Derek L. Ramsey

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