The hyphen in my last name, and, What happens when kids with hyphenated last names marry?

This post is not about sex or colonization.

NPR’s All Things Considered played a story yesterday called, “When Hyphen Boy Meets Hyphen Girl, Names Pile Up.” It’s Family Friday at Words on the Word, and in my family we all roll with the hyphenated last name (K-J). My wife was K, I was J, she wanted to be K-J, invited me to do the same (with no pressure), and I agreed. So we and our three kids are all K-J.

But we’ve often asked, what happens when they get married? What will they do with their last names? And what if they meet someone else with a hyphenated last name?

Read and listen to NPR’s story here.

It doesn’t offer much by way of answers to my questions above, but at least our children will not be alone.

Why did my wife and I opt for K-J? For me, it’s simple: joining our two last names together with the hyphen seemed a perfect “outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace,” namely, what Jesus teaches–“the two will become one flesh” (Mark 10:8).