Saturday, 7 January 2017

Should I change my last name in marriage?

*On Name*

Again there is no hard and fast rule. Sarah called Abraham Lord but it was most likely by choice. Sarah was not Sarah Abraham. Though she honoured her husband by yielding to him, she was a woman who held up her own. Not all men would yield to their women in the area of solving the issue of bringing forth with having sex with a maid. Even if a man accepted, he would not turn round to drive the woman who bore him an only child for being insolent; who caused it?

At times when we ask questions, I pull back from responding because it is not straight forward and requires lengthy explanation so it is not misconstrued. Unfortunately even with the explanation one may not do full justice to everyone because it is not one size fits all. This is why I encourage you to sign up for one on one counsel so the issues can be treated with you, your relationship history and personality in mind

Some say I will NEVER cheat on my spouse when I get married but what will happen if you marry as a virgin only to find out the man is impotent. Will you carry your cross with faith or carry marriage over as a failed course or cross over to another course! Let's leave that.

There is a country where the man and woman come together to take a fresh last name created by the couple. Another culture has every female answering their maiden last name while in another culture the woman adopts her maternal grandmother's last name in marriage.

Many will be quick to say in Nigeria the woman is expected to take her husband's name but this is neither biblical nor constitutional nor legal.

I never changed mine formally though I now use Temi's last name more now to celebrate him. Former President Clinton is not Bill's biological father's last name! But I am not your standard, neither is Bill, God is.

What name did you sign for those who are married? The man signs as Mr and the woman signs as Miss; which shows under the law in Nigeria, the marital contract is between an unmarried man and unmarried woman. Though most court clerks say sign your father's name for the last time, the marital contract is not with a Mrs. it is with a Miss. If compulsory, a woman would have been asked to sign her husband's last name for the first time. Instead any woman who is interested in acquiring her huaband's last name would have to legally do so. In the USA, you have to file to do so and explain why. In some instance you are required to defend why.

Jesus is known as Jesus Christ. Is Christ his father's last name? I would not like to go into the exegesis of names rather I'll suggest you both discuss it and weigh the implication. 

For someone getting married at 22, you probably have little or no history beyond attending primary, secondary and university. For someone who is 40 or 50 you have in addition years of work, training certificates, published works, properties and at times even a child! How easy is it to disassociate yourself. 

A man and woman should discuss it and agree. For the sake of peace the man should be liberal; that a woman adopts your last name or not has nothing to do with the feelings in her heart. If she does, celebrate her for this action that may actually be a loss to her.

A man in the USA loved and adopted his wife's last name. When divorce stepped in, he was faced with the challenge of changing the name because he now had a history with the name. He experienced what many women have had to deal with. 

We must always realise that a marital contract WILL be broken at some point by death (natural - heaven or human activated ) or divorce (man made). As such, I discourage 100% the adoption of husband's first name alongside his last name. God forbid that either of the two genies appears early what do you do? I warned a lady but infatuation had taken over her heart. Few years into the marriage it ended in divorce. Now she has the weight of a combined last name created from her FORMER husband's first and last name.

All that said, using same last name makes you appear or gives a semblance of unity. Using the same last name while living as cat and dog is double identity crisis! 

President Buhari's daughter recently married but even her father's private invitation to the reception had her last name combined (her husband and her father's). As a proverb says, a good name is better than gold and silver. 

If you wish that a woman take on your last name ENSURE the name would add to her not take away from her. You must begin to protect the name for those who will adopt it including your children. Dropping Utomi to take on Anini may not be wise. Some men should consider adopting a fresh name and surname if current repels blessings from you due  to negative association implied.

Mrs. Omolola Omoteso-Famuyiwa is a minister who is passionate about sharing God's words for the healing of others.