What once used to be the domain of drunken sailors on shore leave in Shanghai is now a trendy thing to do for just about anyone in the new millennium.
Tattoos aren’t just seen on teens who are crazy enough to let someone else paint them with a needle. Putting a design on your body that will last you the rest of your life seems to sound like a good idea to just about anyone these days.
But what does the Bible say about tattoos?
Many will point to certain chapters in the Bible that refer to marks on ones body and thus declare that it’s okay to do. For instance:
Some bible translations of Isaiah 44:5 show people in the future writing on their hands or arms that they belong to the Lord.
“One shall say, I am the LORD’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand to the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel.”
However, other people say this is in regards to writing this “with the hand in testimony” and is thus, metaphorical.
In another example, there is Genesis 4:15 where God set a mark on Cain to protect him. But it’s a bit of a mystery as to what exactly this passage refers to.
What seems much clearer is the passage in Leviticus 19:28 against people marking themselves with tattoos:
“You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD.”
The first part of the passage, “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead” refers to God speaking of Pagan rituals that one might perform on themselves to help their spirit in the afterlife.
The second part though clearly says not to mark up one’s own body with tattoos.
Some people take the first part of the verse to be a warning not to follow pagan worship practices of which this is one. After all, the Israelites were not to adopt any practices derived from pagan worship.
Instead, they were to keep pagan practices out of their lives altogether.
However, others look at the entire passage and say the verse refers just to tattooing done for any religious or superstitious purpose.
I say poppycock.
It’s pretty clear to me that God is telling us not to mark up our bodies, these bodies given to us by the Lord himself.
In Timothy 2:9, we are reminded:
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with modesty and sobriety…
Tattoos are anything but modest; most of the time they are there to gain attention. So when a Christian decides to get a tattoo, he or she has to ask themselves why they want this tattoo in the first place.
You also see Christians that get inked simply to recognize the holy spirit.
Cross tattoos, Jesus tattoos, or just images of Christianity in general are supposed to give praise to our Lord. However, images of crosses on your body are not what God wants from you.
He expects you to honor his word and refrain from trying to improve upon the body he gave you.
It all goes back to Leviticus 19:28 that tells people not to mark themselves up in anyway.
But I Still Want A Tattoo…
If God’s word isn’t enough for you, consider a few more things.
There are diseases you can get from a needle that hasn’t been properly sanitized by your local tattoo artist. You could wind up with Hepatitis B or C, or three letters worse than those…HIV.
If you’re a woman, you’re going to find that most guys are turned off by tattoos on women and think they make women look trashy and promiscuous. You’re taking God’s beautiful creation of your skin and marking it up.
No tattoo will improve upon what God has given you.
Have you ever noticed that NFL cheerleaders don’t have tattoos showing?
That’s because the NFL knows they will alienate viewers who are put off by women sporting these things, plus take attention away from the rest of the squad, so they make it a rule for the cheerleaders not to have them on display.
I think back to all the beautiful women from the past, the glamorous ladies that all women, young and old, looked up to as role models. I’m talking about beautiful women like Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe.
Can you imagine either of them with a “sleeve” of tats?
These were ladies in the truest sense of the word and their outward appearance has something to do with this.
Don’t women these days understand this? Or don’t they care about being a lady?
Maybe it’s the latter. Maybe they are more concerned about being an attention magnet than they are trying to be what God created them to be in his eyes.
What also bothers me is that a lot of women don’t seem to care what men think of them these days. That’s a dangerous thought because women who rebel like this will have a hard time becoming wives of Christian men…or any man for that matter.
If they are rebelling against what men want by marking up their bodies, they will rebel against their future husbands instead of respecting them.
Ephesians 5:33 states:
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Those With Tattoos Need Not Apply
Unless you work at Hot Topic, your employer will most likely want you to cover up your Rembrandt. This is especially true if you have a customer-facing position at work because it can affect the image of the company in a negative way.
It could also prevent you from getting a job in the first place (like being an NFL cheerleader). Some employers will throw your resume away once they see you are inked up and you’ll never even hear about it.
Is it worth getting a tattoo if you’re jeopardizing the career you want with the company you’d like to work for?
You might even get the job but lose a promotion for a higher position in that company simply because your tramp stamp makes you look less professional, less stable, and less fit to hold that position.
Your Tattoo Design Could Go The Way Of Acid-Washed Jeans
If you know the 80s, you know that fashion was not the best thing about that decade. One of the worst fashion faux pas from that era came in the form of denim. When they first came out, acid-washed jeans were thought of as one of the great fashion trends of their time.
That quickly changed though once the fad passed and people realized how ugly acid washed jeans really were. Now, no one wants to be caught dead wearing them.
That permanent design on your arm could be next.
What you think is cool today could be considered ridiculous ten years from now. Imagine coming to resent that tattoo simply because you got a design that is no longer trendy or that is seen as goofy, slutty, or any other number of things down the road.
That small act of spontaneity could one day turn into an expensive mistake.
How Good Will Your Tattoo Look When You’re 60?
Many people who get tattoos earlier in life come to regret them when they get older. Time does horrible things to one’s outer beauty and tattoos don’t look the same on an older body as they do on a younger one. This can be especially true for women.
Sure, you can always get your tattoo removed down the road but your God-given skin will never quite look the same. Not to mention that tattoo removal does not come cheap.
I have yet to see a fool-proof tattoo removal method sold at the local drug store.
The Power Of The Herd
Everyone wants to fit in. And because of this, people tend to follow the actions of everyone else.
Now, if we were still living in a country that was run by Christians with Christian values, then that wouldn’t be a problem. But things have changed a lot in the past couple of decades and we are now facing a world that tries to suppress Christian values and promotes bad behavior in its place.
To any Christian with their head not in the sand, this should be quite apparent.
I believe tattoos have become commonplace because they were marketed to people as the “cool” thing to do now. And it was done to bring down our society and put everyone into the lower caste.
Upstanding men don’t have tattoos.
Classy women don’t have tattoos.
So when you see others getting their body marked up, you should already be questioning why everyone suddenly wants one of these things.
Follow the directions of one being; our Lord. Ask yourself, what does the bible say about tattoos?
The answer is clear. We are told not to do it.
So whether your friends or your favorite celebrity has tattoos, or you think it will just make you stand out; none of these is a good reason to go through with it.
Don’t copy what you see on TV as our media spends most of its time doing the work of the devil.
God gave you your body in all its perfection. Let that be enough.