Wedding Wednesdays: Why I'm Taking My Fiancé's Last Name
Last Week's Wedding Wednesday Poll Result
What do Brides obsess over in anticipation for their dress on the Wedding Day?42.86% of voters said Overall Weight. There was a two-way tie at 28.57% between Arms and Stomach. There were no votes for Butt and Legs. I agree. I think most brides obsess over their overall weight and when it comes to specific body parts Arms and Stomach tend to rise to the top of that list.
What's In A Name:
Why I'm Taking My Fiance's Last Name
"I'm tired of the fast lane. I want you to have my last name." - Common, Come Close
"Funny thing about that is, I was ready to give you my name." - Justin Timberlake, What Goes Around
It's a growing trend in American society for women who are getting married to Not take their husband's last name. While ultimately it is a matter of preference and a personal choice to be made and shared between you and your intended, I wanted to address my reasons for taking my fiancé's last name.
My name is Not who I am. Recently I came across an article on Huffington Post entitled Why I'm Not Changing My Last Name for Marriage, the main reason the author gave for not changing her name is that her name is her identity, "…my name is who I am," she said. For me that's simply not the case. I would be who I am even if my name is different. Heck, I am who I am even when people mispronounce my name (Care-a instead of Cah-ra) or when I'm called by different nicknames (i.e. Taylor, CaraT, Car, CarCar, Carisha, Patsy,). My name is an identifier yes, but it is not the sum total of my identity. Shakespeare wrote, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet;" (Romeo and Juliet. Act II. Scene II. Lines 47 - 48." Outkast would say "But lean a little bit closer, see that roses really smell like boo-boo(oo-oo)" LOL.
Divorce is Not an Option. I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard that phrase used in our premarital class in the last three months. And it's not just a nice phrase worth repeating but that gets tossed out the window when the realities of marriage hit. No. It is something that Danny and I have fully embraced and committed to. If we're both individually seeking to please God and our first concern is serving the other person rather than being served then any obstacle we face can be overcome without the "D word" (divorce) being brought up.
"But people change,"
"But what if he…,"
"But what if you...,
"But, but, but!"
Bottom-line is Danny and I are refusing to set any parameters that would allow talk of divorce to come in to play, period. Reflective bride, the author of the article mentioned above, stated her article, "…but it would be naive not to realize that something like a third of western marriages end in divorce. Would I then change back to my birth name? And if I re-marry, do I change it again to the new husband's name? What am I, a baseball card?" To be honest I don't understand the baseball card reference but I'm guessing it would be the equivalent of a player switching teams? I digress. The statistic is actually 50% of first time marriages end in divorce, this includes Christian marriages. But saying divorce is not an option isn't naive. It's a choice. Just like love is a choice. Committing to marriage is a choice. Divorce is also a choice. A choice my fiancé and I have decided we refuse to consider. With the support from our successfully married mentors along with the tools they have provided through our premarital class, Danny and I have soberly decided that divorce is not an option. Therefore thinking up situations where divorce is permitted or considering what would happen as far as name change is a waste of valuable time. When we say "'Til death do us part" we're going to mean it with our entire being.
Call me crazy. Call me old fashion. (Call me whatever you want because like I said earlier a name does not equal identity for me.) But I choose to go with God, meaning I choose to defer to His way. I choose to agree with His definition of marriage. Why?
"As for God, His way is PERFECT: The LORD's word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him." - Psalm 18:30 (NIV)
Regardless of popular opinion, regardless of how man misconstrues God's original intent and purpose I choose to reflect the heart of God for marriage in my own marriage. And what does God say about taking a man's name? I found my answer in Genesis 2.
Verse 18, "The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
Verse 29-20, "Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in he sky. HE brought them to the man to see what he [Adam] would name them and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found."
Verse 21-22 talk about the creation of the crowning jewel of creation - woman. Until she was created God said, it was not good, not complete, when up until verse 18 of chapter 2 God had declared every other day of creation good.
Verse 23, "The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man.'
Genesis 3:20"Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living."
Adam named his wife.
In taking my fiancé's last name, I'm allowing him to name me. The same way God brought Eve to Adam (Genesis 2:22) is the name way God brought me into Danny's life.
I'm allowing my fiancé to name me not because I'm 'cattle that needs to be branded with my owner's name' but because I want to be unified with my husband as his helper.
To be clear the treatment of woman as cattle and/or property was not something that God instituted. It's not the first time that man (because of sin in the world) twisted something beautiful, that flowed straight from the heart of God, into something ugly. Lord willing, I will freely give my husband my body not just for sex but to carry our children as well. In turn my husband will give me his name, his promise to provide and protect, and his promise to love me as Christ loves the church. My fiancé doesn't have a heart of gold, he has a heart after God and I'll take that, submit to that and align myself with that any day.
Genesis 2:24"That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh."
By taking my fiancé's last name, I'm Not sacrificing my identity or losing my identity, I'm choosing to create an entirely new identity with him as we become One.
And perhaps my favorite, most personal and most uncanny of all my reasons:
In my post "The Problem of a Renewed Mind" I shared a conversation I had with God where he called me a warrior. When I first shared the conversation with Danny he shook his head knowingly. A few days later Danny and I were in conversation and he asked me "Do you know what my middle and last name mean?" I had to think about it. I didn't. I told myself I would look it up. I forgot to until about a week or so after he asked me that question. When I saw what his name meant I nearly fell out. His middle name means conquering and his last name means "Fair warrior." Really though? Coincidence? I think not.
Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love and cherish what will soon be known as my maiden name. I've, I should say WE'VE, got big plans for that name. Before Danny, I truly could not have imagined having any other last name, my name is wonderfully complicated as it is. Still, taking Danny's last name is a choice that I have made and it's the only one that matters.
When we're born we don't get to choose our name. Our parents choose it for us. A woman who is getting married has an opportunity to not only choose a man to love for the rest of her life but to choose a new name for herself, a name that can be associated with the life long covenant of marriage that she is agreeing to and entering in.
Food for thought.
Peace & Blessings.