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Oh Lord, Where Do We Go From Here? Current and former members (and anyone in between!)... tell us what is on your mind and in your heart.

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Old 08-07-2018, 10:36 PM   #1
Trapped
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Default Wives taking husband's last name

A while back there was an elder who performed a wedding ceremony of some young, relatively new saints in the LC. The elder did not know until right before the ceremony that this couple planned for the wife not to take the husband's last name. As a result, the elder intentionally did not announce them in the typical way after the "I do's" were said (I can't recall if he did not say "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" or if he did not say "husband and wife"...I believe it was the former). He said later in private conversation that he was unhappy with the situation and going forward he was going to make it a point to ask couples before he agreed to perform their wedding ceremony if the wife intended to take the husband's last name. He did not state it explicitly, but the implication seemed to be that he would not agree to participate otherwise. He then pointed to "the two shall become one flesh" as the reason for his position.

To be honest this question never occurred to me before that point, but his staunch refusal to participate got me thinking. I've been back-burnering it for a while until now but several things have come to my mind.

In support of keeping separate names:

1. The verse says "become one flesh" not "become one name"
2. The more I thought about it the more I realized that the wife taking the last name is not actually in the Bible; I am not aware that it is explicitly stated or described in any Bible story
3. I believe it is more cultural than anything. I know many Chinese or Korean couples in the church in which the wife keeps her last name. To my knowledge I don't think anyone considers them less married than anyone else.
4. If marriage is a picture of Christ and the church, it is still "Christ and the church" .... I've never seen a verse that says or implies "Mr. and Mrs. Christ"

It surprises myself that I came up with that many.

In support of the wife changing her name:

1. Wives are to submit to their husbands (although one verse says the man shall leave his parents and cleave to his wife....which doesn't paint as strong a picture); not taking the last name shows a predetermined desire to be independent from the husband
2. Yikes......I can't actually think of anything else Biblically related, even though I myself am generally stronger in support of wives taking their husband's name.

Has anyone thought about or discussed this before? Does anyone have additional points for either stance? If you want to relate it to the LC's you can, but I don't think the LC does anything particular or unusual in this matter compared to other believers, although I have been in just a handful of non-LC weddings myself. Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Wives taking husband's last name

I used to work in the wedding industry so have been to many weddings. It is common practice and tradition to refer to a married couple as Mr and Mrs Smith regardless of whether the wife chooses to change her name after the ceremony which is another formality that has nothing to do with the ceremony. I see no reason why that later decision to not take the surname or hyphenate it or even change it completely, should have any bearing on how they are referred to at the ceremony. It certainly should not have any bearing on the decision for a celebrant to conduct a ceremony because a name change is not a requirement for getting married in most countries. I am not aware of any practice in the local churches that would differ from anywhere else in regards to the name change.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wives taking husband's last name

I basically agree with Evan. Here's an interesting article on this subject: History Behind Maiden & Married Names

There's certainly nothing specifically biblical, as in those days people were mainly just known by their first name and maybe where they were from. The 2nd name got added for an individual as population grew and there needed to be some distinguishing one from another (much like why licence plate digits have expanded over the years). On one hand it's simpler to show the family unit ID, but on the other hand it can be an effort to get one's name changed.

Anyways, a purely cultural and/or practical practice. My opinion is this elder is letting his opinion sway him. (now if they were of the same sex, then . . . )
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wives taking husband's last name

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I used to work in the wedding industry so have been to many weddings. It is common practice and tradition to refer to a married couple as Mr and Mrs Smith regardless of whether the wife chooses to change her name after the ceremony which is another formality that has nothing to do with the ceremony. I see no reason why that later decision to not take the surname or hyphenate it or even change it completely, should have any bearing on how they are referred to at the ceremony. It certainly should not have any bearing on the decision for a celebrant to conduct a ceremony because a name change is not a requirement for getting married in most countries. I am not aware of any practice in the local churches that would differ from anywhere else in regards to the name change.
Your views here contradict Nee, Lee and the Blendeds who have condemned all of Christianity for decades for having the wrong name -- if the wife of Mr. smith is not Mrs. Smith, then she is an adulterer.
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Your views here contradict Nee, Lee and the Blendeds who have condemned all of Christianity for decades for having the wrong name -- if the wife of Mr. smith is not Mrs. Smith, then she is an adulterer.
That's different. Not changing ones name after marriage is not adultery. Taking another man's name is.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wives taking husband's last name

Thanks for the replies, they helped.
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