The history of the double-barrelled surname apparently began in Britain, where "hyphenated double surnames were historically passed down to heirs. They commemorated the combining of family fortunes and affiliations by marriage. When there were no male heirs to the estate in the bride's line, the bride’s name could be used by the husband, usually if he was from a family less well-off than the bride's family. This practice began in the 15th century and was limited to nobility or those of great wealth.”
“In Victorian times, the hyphenated, or what is also called the double-barrelled surname, became more popular, and gradually the practice moved from upper-crust Brits to anyone. In modern-day America and much of the English-speaking Western world, the choice to hyphenate has less to do with the bourgeoise as it is a declaration of equality." (www.brides.com)
Most newly engaged couples eventually have that conversation about whether the woman will take her husband's name or maybe hyphenate her maiden and married surnames. Though it is rare for the man to take the woman’s name, it happens.
When I was a teenager I was sure that I would have dropped my father’s surname when I got married, but as I grew older that position began to shift. My identity and accomplishments became wrapped up in my name I guess, and the thought of changing it felt like I was losing something or even losing myself.
The dilemma ballooned when I met my husband-to-be, and what was clear-cut many years before became a chasm of uncertainty. I was honoured that of all the women in the world he asked me to be his wife, and I was honoured to carry his name, but after several years in my career was I prepared to be called by a name no one knew? Much of the grey of uncertainty transitioned when my son was born and I was suddenly outnumbered in the house, so I did what I needed to, to legally change my name.
After 12 years of belonging and service to God, I contentedly stand as a counted soul among the family of God.
We are adopted into the family of God when we believe in the sacrifice of Jesus and the reconciliation that His death, burial, and resurrection bought for us (Ephesians 1:5). We get to be a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a Holy nation unto God (1 Peter 2:9), who is the source of our righteousness, and the reason we are no longer sin-stained and slaves to it, but pure and Holy (Ephesians 1:4).
We are children of God (1 John 3:1), sons and daughters of the Great I Am (John:12), proudly carrying His Name, His Spirit (John 15:26), and Sealed as His own (Ephesians 1:13). Neither life nor death, neither marriage nor singledom can change our belonging with God through faith in Christ.
We should be honoured and humbled that God chose us to be a part of His family. No longer slaves, but children and heirs of the King of Glory (Galatians 4:7).
It is common for women to be indecisive about whether they will change their name after marriage, but when we are adopted by God, the change of our name and nature are natural outcomes. He may not actually rename us as he did Abraham and Jacob or even Paul, but the names by which we are now known are Child of God, Ambassador of Christ, Heir of Jesus Christ, and Kingdom citizen.
It matters that people know me by my new name and I often need to gently remind my colleagues that I have a new name. If they send an email to just ‘Baynes’, it won’t reach me because that is no longer my name.
With even greater zealousness, we should ensure that we are known and called by our new name, a Christ-ian – belonging to Christ, who is now our Lord and leader.
We shouldn’t just be honoured to claim the name of Christ but also to live out what that name represents. The title Christ-ian also means that there are other names by which you should be called and known, such as kind, compassionate, giving, gracious, disciplined, gentle, considerate, and wise, to name a few.
It doesn't matter how long we have been owning and living by this new name, it should never be taken for granted, Jesus went to great lengths just so that we could be called His and carry His name.
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