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.