“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare.
Well, I am officially married, and I have a new last name. I am SO excited that I do!! Unfortunately, it will take a couple months or more to make it official in the government’s eyes, due to the plethora of paperwork and endless days waiting for documents to come back. But, it is still worth it.
Many people I know, and people in general, especially in today’s day in age, wonder why women should go through the hassle and time of changing their last names. Sadly, divorce is more common nowadays than it has ever been. Often times, I am sure women ask themselves why change their name if divorce is common. But, I do not think that is what stops many women from changing their last name. I think that is the excuse they use to the public eye. Deep down, I think the real reason so many women choose to keep their maiden name, even after getting married, is because it provides a sense of independence in a codependent relationship. Women who keep their last name can maintain their own identity.
However, I think that provides a sad distorted view of what marriage is really all about. If a women really thinks that taking her husband’s name will make her lose a sense of independence, then I think the relationship should not have led to marriage in the first place. I am my own person and identity in my marriage; however, in God’s ornate design, I am also one with my husband. My husband and I are two souls so closely woven together that we are one. We can be ourselves—entirely, completely, and unashamed—because we are one. I did not lose a sense of identity when I married my husband. In fact, if anything, I gained a greater understanding of myself! From the moment I said, “I do,” God began to show me a new side of myself and who I am as a person that I could have only learned through the gift of marriage. That is beautiful and sacred!! I am not ashamed to take my husband’s last name. I am so very thankful that from this day forward no human will know me better than my husband. From now on, he will be right alongside me as I grow in my godliness and change as a person. To me, that is not a lack of independence. That is a true gift of overwhelming grace and love!
Do not get me wrong, I understand that some women may not choose to change their last name after marriage due to business or professional reasons. I know many women who made a name for themselves in their chosen field, but did so before getting married. This could be a valid reason, yes. But, even then, I argue to hyphenate one’s name.
I know this post may not seem like it is for everyone, but I think it is. That is the beauty of language and writing. Also, I understand this post may not change anyone’s mind, and I get that. Really, though, that was not my primary intention in this post. Merely, I wrote this to be the light of brightness in today’s dark world! Do not let the world shape all that you believe and do! At the end of the day, that is not a firm foundation to be standing on. Do not be ashamed of your new name in marriage! Show the whole world that your husband is a great gift from God. Show the world that you stand with him in everything as one! I cannot help but to smile and think of all the times people will now officially associate me with my husband! It makes me giddy to think that now, FINALLY, I can become even closer with the man that I love so dearly.