What’s In a Name?
Vol: 171 Issue: 19 Saturday, December 19, 2015
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it . . .” (Ephesians 5:25)
This morning, I had to take Gayle to the emergency room to be treated for the Flu That Will Not Die. While I am still somewhat under the weather, compared to Gayle, I am in the pink.
She was diagnosed with bronchitis that the doctor said would have become pneumonia, had we waited another day or so.
What is of interest to this morning’s Omega Letter were the questions we were asked during the admission process.
Since Gayle can only make a sound reminiscent of squeezing a rubber ducky, I took the point position, translating, if you will, for all the earnest-looking people who came to visit us with clipboards, pens and endless questions.
There was a gauntlet of clipboards we had to run in order to get to the prize; a little treatment room where she could finally see a doctor.
In each case, as the person responsible for the bill, I gave them my name and billing address and related information. Then when we got back to Gayle, they asked me, “What’s your wife’s name?” , to which I replied, “Gayle.”
Then they asked me if Gayle’s last name was the same as mine. Four different times, which led me to suspect that the first person to ask wasn’t an idiot, as I had immediately assumed. It seemed to me, an idiotic question, but, evidently, it was routine.
After about the fourth time, I said as much. The admission’s clerk looked at me somewhat sheepishly, and said, ‘Well, you know a lot of people nowadays. . .” before allowing the sentence to just trail off.
Now, I am not uninformed about such things, or naive to any measurable degree, but somehow, it sounded so, well, WEIRD to have the question asked of us.
While we were waiting, Gayle croaked, “It’s supposed to be an honor to take your husband’s name,” to which I replied; “What?”, since she sounds, as I said, like a rubber ducky Bailey used to play with.
After a couple of tries, I got the gist of it, which made me think even harder. (Ultimately giving me a headache, since, while I am much better than Gayle, by any independent standard, still at death’s door myself).
But, all I brought to the table in our marriage was my name. It is more than a social affectation. I brought my name, Gayle brought the baby equipment, and together, that’s what creates a family.
There are a lot of kids running around with hyphenated names, which is generally another way of expressing the fact the child was born out of wedlock.
(There’s another name for THAT, too, and I sure wouldn’t want to hang it around my child’s neck because my wife wanted to look like she was politically correct)
The family unit is under attack in our culture like never before. Families today are lumped into different categories; traditional heterosexual, non-traditional heterosexual,(living together without marriage) single parent, (an unmarried or divorced parent) or non-traditional (and non-existent) ‘families’ consisting of gay partners and adopted children.
The ‘traditional heterosexual’ family, (the non-hyphenated, both parents at home with kids that came to the world in the usual way) has become a non-protected, unacknowledged minority in much of America.
A recent book called “Uncle Sam’s Plantation” written by a conservative black female author points out that, until 1965, the strongest family units in America could be found among American black families.
Author Star Parket points out that today, 78% of black families are of the non-traditional single parent unmarried variety.
Feminist Judith Stacey was quoted saying, “The belief that married-couple families are superior is probably the most pervasive prejudice in the Western world.” Prejudice?
Another feminist, Toni Morrison, argues, “The little nuclear family is a paradigm that just doesn’t work.”
Alice Walker in “Embracing the Dark and the Light,” Essence, July 1982, writes, “…I submit that any sexual intercourse between a free man and a human being he owns or controls is rape.”
Then there is Andrea Dworkin: “Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice. Rape, originally defined as abduction, became marriage by capture. Marriage meant the taking was to extend in time, to be not only use of but possession of, or ownership.”
I refer you to the verse that I opened today’s OL with. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it.”
Christ came into the world to save it, protect it and nurture it, and ultimately, to voluntarily lay down His Life for it. Ownership?
Paul writes, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, [Daddy] Father.” (Romans 8:15)
In explaining the covenant relationship between God and humanity, God uses the traditional family as the basis for our relationship to God, since it was God who ordered the traditional family relationship.
Ephesians 5:22-24 says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, AS UNTO THE LORD. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
The feminists and God-haters and homosexual lobbies see those verses as being akin to involuntary servitude, or slavery or some similar nonsense, instead of seeing the instructions for what they are.
A family, as seen through the eyes of God, is a single organism. The Church is depicted as the Body of Christ. A family is therefore one body, and there are no two-headed creatures in nature, apart from mutants or Dr. Doolittle’s two-headed ‘Pushmepullyou’ whose very name explains why such a creature can’t exist. It would pull itself apart trying to head off in opposite directions.
Paul continues, “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be ONE FLESH.” (Ephesians 5:28-31)
Hence, the practice of a wife taking her husband’s name. It symbolizes the fact the two are now one. “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)
The Christian husband who interprets 5:22 as meaning a wife is an involuntary slave will have much to answer for before God, since his obligation to his wife is not only the greaterresponsibility, but also the more difficult.
The husband unwilling to voluntarily lay down his life for his wife, or who thinks his wife is his slave, is falling short of his responsibility to love his wife as he loves his own body.
This morning, I joked with Gayle, “Honey, please get better. We’re almost out of clean clothes and I’m STARVING.” In a God-centered marriage, there is no room to misinterpret that as anything else BUT a joke.
Implicit in the joke is the overt recognition that without my wife, I would be helpless. Without her, I am half a creature. Without her, I am a head without a body, as useless as a body without a head. (Or one with two heads and no sense of direction).
I can see why the Enemy hates the family unit, and why he is trying, in these last days, to destroy it. To divide, and thereby, to conquer.
The enemy plan is to create a world dependent upon him, and his antichrist, for its survival. In my world, he won’t be able to do that.
Because I am dependent on Gayle, Gayle equally dependent on me, and both of us consequently, dependent on God.
Originally Published: January 3, 2004