Thursday, March 22, 2007

Going to the Chapel: Where is the Tradition?

There is an article in Tuesday's USA Today entitled "More Men Taking Wive's Last Names" which talks about the rise of men legally taking on their wives names upon marriage. Apparently it doesn't always go over very well with the friends and family who are waiting for them in the receiving line.

At first glance it might not seem like a big deal, but piggy-backing off of my post yesterday, this too addresses a pressing issue in our culture. We have made marriage into whatever we want it to be. Gone are the days of godly, and stealing a word from John Piper, “lion-hearted and lamblike” days of male leadership. Now we have a new wave of young couples redefining what it actually means to live in wedded bliss.

What does this mean for us? Is it really a big deal if men take on the last names of their wives? It’s just a name right? Not really. The fact that men are spending $350 dollars to legally become the subordinate in the relationship is something that should make us think. One husband said “I wanted to tweak the tradition while showing my wife I love her."

That’s a far cry from the words of our God through the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:25 where he says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Christ loved the church by leading her, protecting her, and dying for her. There is no question about roles and leadership in Christ’s relationship to His Bride the Church—yet His love for her is evident and undeniable.

So, what does this mean for us? If we embrace the idea that love means denying roles and changing “tradition” then we are showing the world that we have a Christ who abandons His Church—which is blasphemous and a hindrance to the spreading of the Gospel. The greatest act of love a husband can ever display to his wife is to love her as our Lord Jesus Christ so mercifully loved us. It’s not tradition that we are seeking to recover; it’s the authority of the Bible. Because after all, it’s not just a name—it’s an entire worldview.

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