Giving up the Best

I have officially been engaged for 8 days. On the one hand, I am anxious and impatient for our big day to arrive and on the other hand, I am in complete disbelief that I, Kaity Michelle Best, am getting married. Don’t you have to be a grown up to do that?! It would be a complete falsity to pretend like my head isn’t flooded with images of an outdoor wedding, with a flowing white dress surrounded by everyone I love. However, I’m finding that my biggest area of focus thus far has been on…the name change!

Let’s face it, I have the best last name ever and I’ll admit I’m a little reluctant to give it up. I’ve started contemplating all my options regarding my name. I could drop my middle name and be Kaity Best Stuckert, but that sounds a little funny to me. I could hyphenate: Kaity Michelle Best-Stuckert. But what a mouthful! I even got a little giddy when I realized you could smush our names together and create a new last name: Kaity Michelle Bestuckert! Well, that one just seemed silly.

I read somewhere that women who keep their maiden names have significantly higher incomes than women who choose to take their husband’s name. I guess it makes sense. The former women are probably less traditional and more career-driven than the latter so in this scenario, maybe by keeping the “Best,” I could be aiding my career. As un-traditional and ambitious as I may like to think I am, I do not want to be the kind of woman thought to put work before family.

Which brings me to my last option: I drop the “Best” and become Kaity Michelle Stuckert. I won’t deny, it actually sounds pretty nice, but if I want to make this kind of sacrifice and completely alter my identity for my husband, I better be sure in my conviction that this is the right choice for me. I started thinking of why women choose to take their husband’s name as their own. Tradition, mostly, I assume. But deeper than that, I believe women choose to abandon their birth name to submit and become one with their husband.

The word “submission” has always held a negative connotation to me. I am an independent, self-sufficient woman who detests the idea of any person having control over me. To me, “submission” has always sounded more like “indentured servitude.”  But I recalled a passage in the Bible that encouraged wives to submit to their husbands (and as foreign an object as the Bible is for me, I have to believe that the same God who loves me unconditionally would never desire a relationship for me where I was viewed as subordinate, powerless and inferior). My God created me as a reflection of love, grace and beauty. He also created my future husband to cherish my love, my grace, my beauty and even my lack thereof.

In Ephesians 5, Paul asks me to submit to my husband for he is the head of the household, like Christ is the head of the Church. He then goes on to ask my hubby-to-be to love me as Christ loves the Church that He sacrificed everything for. He tells my fiancĂ© that he ought to love me as he loves himself and care for me the way he cares for himself. Finally, Paul writes, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

After reading this passage, I can’t help but notice that there is no hint of indentured servitude. What I do interpret however, is a loving God asking me to shed my pride and grab a slice of humble pie. He desires a marriage for me in which I care for my husband the absolute best that I can, and he promises the same to me. As we become one, all God seems to be asking of us is to model the same love in our relationship with each other, as Christ has so loved us. With all things considered, “Stuckert” doesn’t seem so bad… ;)


  1. I never really had any qualms with changing my last name. To me, my name doesn't define me or really hold any part of my identity. To me it was just the way I left my family to create one of my own. I did, however, struggle with that verse, specifically the submission of wives to their husbands. I guess I've reconciled it by thinking of God's relationship to Jesus. Though they were equal, Jesus submitted to God's will because God only wanted the best for his son. Jon was reading those verses the other day and shared with me that he also used to view them in the wives must do what the husbands tell them kind of way. But as he read it that time he realized that it said for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Well, Christ DIED for the church. So in a sense the verse is saying that husbands are to love their wives so much that they would die for them, or love them so much that it kills them, as Jon put it. So I agree with your conclusion that really what this verse is saying is that our marriage relationship is to be as that of Christ with us. It's really not so bad! :)

  2. Loved this post! Beautifully vulnerable and inspiring!