Breaking news . . . . women are taking a more traditional approach to marriage and increasingly adopting their husband's surname after getting married.
Surname trends "comes and goes" and we have seen until recently a swing towards women keeping their maiden names. Some women had quite strong feelings about not changing their name as it was seen as giving up their independence's and not wanting to “belong” to someone else. However, others were eager to change their names to acknowledge to others they were married . . . these women were very proud of becoming “Mrs Smith”.
One problem that arises when the woman keeps her maiden name is what surname to give the children – do you hyphenate the child’s surname, use dads name or mums? This can become quite messy.
Interestedly changing ones name is not universal, many cultures do not do this at all. For example in Scotland, until the 20th century, married women kept their maiden names, but today the practice of changing to the husband's family name is the norm. Women, by law, keep their names in Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Chile, Malaysia and Korea.
From a biblical view - even though the bible doesn't instruct women to change their names when marrying, these verses below give a strong case to why Christian women should consider it:
- Genesis 2:24 “. . . a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” - therefore sharing ones name honours this oneness (one flesh).
- Ephesians 5:22 ". . . submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord " which includes sharing his name and taking on this new role as wife. It certainly doesn't mean that you loose independents or freedom.
- Matthew 19:6 "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." Changing your name indicates that you are making a permanent, life-long commitment to your husband, and will henceforth be identified as being inseparably linked to him. We should be very proud of this union which can be demonstrated through the sharing of a surname.
Were you eager to change your name when you got married?