Do you think it's a sin against God for a woman to get married but keep her own name?


No, I do not believe it is a sin, however, I believe the question to ask is, "Why?"  What is her attitude towards her husband and her marriage.  Does she see him as the head and herself as the "helper"?  It is attitude.  If it is that she wants to keep her identity rather than become "one' with him, then again I would question the submissiveness of her heart to her husband.  I truly don't expect the world to understand this, but God's people, if they read and understand the Bible, will discern the God-ordained role for husbands and wives, which holds both of them responsible, and give different roles and responsibilities.

Question (continued)

Also, how submissive should a woman be to her husband?

Answer (continued)

According to the very words of God (Bible), "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."  [Ephesians 5:22-24] 

That verse is pretty clear and needs very little interpretation.  Remember, that God only asks and commands us to do that which is best for us.  Also that before Him, a man and  woman stand as equals, yet He has assigned roles to them that are not equal--the man has authority over the woman, and she is to serve the man.  This is very much like the Trinity, where you have all three members equal in every way, yet having different roles:  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Now in these roles, the Father controls everything, Jesus submits to the Father, and the Spirit points everyone to Christ--they are equal, yet operate in roles of submission and authority.

Question (continued)

Should she obey him without asking questions?  What if he tells her to do something she believes is wrong?

Answer (continued)

A woman is not a slave of her husband, she is his partner, and his lover and friend.  A considerate husband ("Husbands, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life."  [1 Peter 3:7]) will confer with his wife on various matters.  It is true that he has the final word, and that he can set "policy" but he would be a fool not to talk this over with his "friend wife."  But if it comes to him making demands or commands something, then, yes, the wife is to comply, unless it is sinful, causing her specifically to break one of God's commands for her.  In this case, she should "graciously" say no and explain why.  Now, in the case where the husband demands, commands something that is not sinful, but yet something that she may not like, well in that case God clearly tells her to yield.  God will deal with the husband who tries to take advantage of the wife.

I realize that these "short" answers don't  always give the details and Biblical support that you may seek.  So I recommend some files to read that are on my website ( that will give some wonderful illustrations and Biblical references.  Go to the John MacArthur Collection area and look under the subject column for Marriage and Women.  There are two sermons called "The Role of the Husband" and "The Role of the Wife"-- these two are especially good.

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:

Tony Capoccia
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