My Two Cents On Tattoos

Before I state my personal opinion and viewpoint about tattoos, let me just say that I enjoyed reading the comments from everyone. Some were insightful and had a lot of validity. Some were comical. My long-time friend, Rafael, mentioned Tattoo and Ricardo Montalban from the 1970’s TV show Fantasy Island. He certainly dated himself there, didn’t he? (Love you so big, Raf.) I can’t really say anything. I used to watch that show EACH AND EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT right after The Love Boat was over. I secretly wanted to be the cruise director, Julie McCoy. And there was a part of me that thought Doc was dreamy. Mums the word. I’ve got a reputation to protect. First of all let me say that I am far from a Bible scholar or teacher of the Word. I know a few things from Genesis to Revelation pretty good and a whole lot more not well enough. The history and context behind the passages is key here. At times I have been able to get behind the scenes to understand certain passages. Also remember we are dealing with the Old Testament. It is still vital and brings such truth and hope to us but I think we can all agree that Christ came to bring freedom from the law. Because the bottom line is that if we were expected to live Old Testament lives, we’d all fail miserably because we would never measure up. That’s why God sent Jesus. The 19th chapter of Leviticus has various laws in it. These are laws that the LORD gave to Moses to share with the “entire assembly of Israel” (Lev. 19:2). This is the chapter where it says in verse 28 and I quote, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves.” But did you know that it also says that you shouldn’t mate two kinds of animals (v. 19), shouldn’t wear clothing woven of two kinds of material (v. 19), shouldn’t eat any meat with the blood still in it (v. 26), or shouldn’t cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard (v. 27)? With that being said, if you have a mixed-bred dog, have a polyester/rayon blended shirt, choose to eat your ribeye steak in rare form, or have EVER had a haircut, you are out of luck. Doomed. Up a creek without a paddle. You broke the law. But aren’t you thankful that Christ came to set us free from the law? Christ’s entrance into our fallen world saved us from all of this. I see a white hanky waving out there. It does my heart good to know that I do not have to follow some set of rules to make sure that my eternity is sealed. Nope. All I have to do is say yes to my Savior and follow the greatest commandment of all:
Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Matthew 22:37

Now, before you think that I am a rebel and don’t follow rules, I’ll tell you that I have a respect for the law. I follow rules. I believe there is a place for laws and rules and believe most of them are for our protection. It’s like the rules I have in place for my sons. If I’m home alone with Seth and I need to shower, the rule is that he has to either play in his room or sit and watch TV without getting up. Period. He can’t go outside and he can’t wander around the house. Why? It’s for his safety. What if he went outside while I was in the shower and wandered off? What if he went into the kitchen and decided that he needed to use a knife? The outcomes of both of these scenarios would not be good. I know this, therefore, I put rules in place. And ultimately, it’s for his safety and protection. (And so his momma won’t go lookin’ a bloomin’ fool yellin’ “Sether Joe” throughout the whole neighborhood. I’m just sayin’.) One other particular passage that many have used when it comes to our bodies is found in the sixth chapter of 1 Corinthians, verse 19:
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…
The context surrounding this verse is talking about sexual immorality, but verse 20 finishes with “Therefore, honor God with your body.” Many will say that tattoos don’t honor one’s body. If that is the case, then do greasy burgers or fatty french fries or breast enlargements or tummy tucks or highlights in the hair? The list could go on. In one particular comment by Mandy, she said, “When in doubt, don’t.” While that may not work for everyone, it works for her and actually, I must say that it works for me from time to time. However, not in the case of tattoos. For me, I just don’t want one. I don’t want to ever feel like I have to cover it up if I’m at a particular event. I don’t want to be concerned that something might go wrong with the ink in my blood. It’s just not my thing but I have absolutely nothing against them. (I have, on the other hand, considered a nose ring. Did I say that out loud?) However, tattoos work for puh-LEN-tee of others. And that’s just fine and dandy with me. In fact, so many people I know have them. Many of my Christ-following friends use them either to bring glory to God or to remind themselves of whose they are. I am constantly putting temporary tattoos on my sons 🙂 I feel certain one day that both of them will want to get one. I just hope it’s not on their gorgeous faces. Dear Lord, no. Let me conclude with one final passage of Scripture that might sum things up a bit on this controversial issue:
Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.

1 Corinthians 10:23

Are tattoos permissible? I believe they are. Are they beneficial and constructive? I believe they certainly can be.  I also believe some might not be. And that, my internet peeps, is my two cents. And all God’s people said? Amen.

20 thoughts on “My Two Cents On Tattoos”

  1. Liked the caption you gave my boys pic. I could here them saying that except they would use “toot”, mom doesn’t like “fart”. Shelly said she would be glad to shoot your fam if you want her to.

    Back to the subject… Even though I haven’t had a tattoo done in 15 years I still want to get another, they are a bit addicting. “De Plane, De plane”

  2. You got a real gift for this Cindy. That is very well written.

    From now on all of my emails should be forwarded to you for proof reading 🙂

  3. I got a nose ring last summer and took it out by the end of the summer….it kept getting caught on my washrag when I washed my face….Thanks for the post. I love reading your blog. You rock sister!

  4. and, you are a very smart woman – thank you for sharing your thorough and well thought out views on this. keep ’em coming!

  5. I liked what a previous commenter said “some just have more stained glass than others.” I can’t tell you how many conversations my tattoos (5 and more to come) have started where I get an opportunity to share my relationship with JESUS. Thanks for sharing. Oh and never let my mother-in-law get a nose ring with you or I will move to mexico. 🙂

  6. My husband and I are tatoo and piercing free. Not that at one time or another we didnt’ consider it.

    We have a friend who has diamond studs in both ears…I find this disturbingly unattractive for a guy. If I would have met Dennis and he had both ears pierced, I would have rolled my eyes and probably not thought twice about him (I guess on some level, I think it’s a vanity thing).

    Being from Austin, Texas the Tatooing capital of Texas, I know many, many people who are pierced and tatooed. One of my good friends told me (she had several of both) not to do it, she gained some weight and has a very misshapen butterfly on her stomache. And after having a baby, it’s even more funky.

    So, no tatoos for me. Thank you.

  7. I totally agree with you on this subject. 1 Corinthians 10:23 says it so well. Brad has five tattoo’s and they all have a spiritual meaning or a personal meaning to him. I have two, one that means nothing and one that has meaning to me. I would tell anyone that is thinking of getting one to make sure it has a meaning to them. But I will tell you that they hurt soooooo bad!!

  8. Well, Mrs. Beall… sounds like we’ve read the same scripture and come to the same conclusions…good insight in many more words. I like the way you think!

  9. oh wait, a nose ring! What, are we gonna have to have a chat?!!??! and why did I not know this…that seems like a fun bit of info I would enjoy:) Any other shocking revelations, I want to hear about!!!

  10. Ya know the word Tattoo’s would have gotten my attention…adding the word “devil” to it…well that was annoying. Well…my “2 cents” worth about them is they are “OK”…my son has many, many, of them. Did I like it at first…no. He is 23 and a devoted young Christian man. A good friend of mine admires my son a great deal and tells me because of my son, she is able to understand and accept the similiar things her grandsons are now going through. She says it does not matter what my son “tattoo’s” on the outside…because she knows his heart and what’s on the inside. I love her for that. My sons tats are very artistic in nature. Nothing EVIL. Just to give you an idea of a few of them…on his side are the words, “I desire the new beginning”, from under his arm down to his waist. On his foreare is a cross and the words, “saved a wretch like me”…on his chest is a hand holding his heart…the hand of God…on the other side of his chest is another hand holding an aborted baby…the hand of God holding this child of God. That is is stand against abortion. On his calf is a pretty coy fish…a childhood memory of the first fish he caught with his dad on a boy scout outing. So my son has lots of tats, he is a fine Christian young man…he is a friend to the “friendless”…those who “others” may look down on because they don’t “look” a certain way. Hmm…who was it Jesus befriended…oh the “out cast” so to speak, wasn’t it. Wasn’t it the Pharisees who critized Jesus for talking to that “adulterous woman”?

    Oh did I mention my son is also an Eagle Scout? 🙂 So if your “kids” want to get tats…1st, for us he had to be over 18…the 1st rule was not while you live at home. He moved out on his own for a year…then moved home again…I figured by 21 he should be able to make his own decisions and his own mistakes in life. Next rule, he pays for them himself. I have asked him nothing above the neck line and he has agreed to that.

    You stated the scripture on the “law” correctly in my view. So many times scripture is taken out of context to make it “say what people want it to say”. Yes, it talks about not cutting hair too, etc…YIKES, I not only cut my hair, I highlight my hair! But, I know in whom I have believed. I trust in the One who has set me free! When the SON sets you free, you are free indeed!

    How in the heck did I get here…I was looking at pictures of my granddaughters preschool teacher, her beautiful twins! 🙂

  11. I think if you are personally convicted to NOT have a tattoo…then dont go there. If God does not convict you and you are okay with it and want to get it done…then get your back stamp or as my brother calls it…”rump antlers”.

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