Q. I’ve been following a debate among two friends regarding married women who hyphenate their last name. One thinks it isn’t appropriate, according to the word of God. I know when we are married through God’s will no man shall separate us. I also know that we women shall summit to our husband. But what does hyphenating our last name have to do with marriage bonding? Is it a dishonor to God? Is it a sin?
A. Taking the man’s last name in a marriage is a human tradition that is not mentioned in the Bible, and is not done consistently through out the world. In Mexico for instance, the husband and wife take both family names and so do their future children.
For much of man’s history people didn’t even have last names, so it wasn’t an issue. Today, brides take their husband’s name, hyphenate their name, or retain their “maiden” name, based on personal preference.
I know that Ephesians 5:22-24 says a wife should submit to her husband, but Ephesians 5:25-28 commands a husband to love his wife so much that he’s willing to give himself up for her, just like Jesus gave himself up for the Church.
Based on that, you could say according to the Bible it’s the husband who should be willing to give up his name, not the wife.