My Tattoo

There’s seems to be a resurgence of tattoo’s these days. Every time I turn around, someone I know has a new tattoo.

My DH has one he got in the USN, while he was stationed in Pensacola. The last thing his mom said when he was getting on the plane was, “Don’t get a tattoo!” I think that sealed it.

When our daughter was nearly eighteen, she wanted to get a tattoo. I told her it was her decision but she had to watch someone get one first. (I knew she’d change her mind.) After her BFF got one she said that it hurt worst than childbirth, which is hysterical since she has no personal experience in that area. An older woman in the tattoo parlor said, “No honey, this is easy compared to that,” which could explain why neither is in a rush to have children though they are both happily married.

I came across an interesting article in the Sept/Oct issue of Today’s Christian Woman, God’s Tattoo. God has a tattoo? Grab a copy today. Unfortunately, this article is not available online. Those with tattoos and without will enjoy this heartwarming article.

At a party last spring, the subject came up.

“Do you have a tattoo?” one friend asked.

“Not one that you can see,” I quipped and we all laughed.

Ironically, it’s true. You can’t really see mine. What’s my tattoo? God’s name written on my heart and it’s one I’ll never regret or want removed because it’s made me who I am – bold and free.

And just so we’re clear, I am not in any of the above photo’s.

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32 thoughts on “My Tattoo

  1. The last Tattoo I received really bothered me. He went too deep with the dark blue and black which left bumps that will raise up when it rains and start to itch. I am not sure if I was allergic to the ink or what. It kind of turned me off for awhile, although I am looking for someone to do a Courage the Cowardly Dog on my arm. But no one wants to draw it around here. ===================================Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties as confirmed by U.S. CentralCommand: 4161

  2. Ted, I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. You might try Arnica gel – a homeopathic remedy which aids in healing and bruising. Might help with itching as well.

  3. I have God’s name tattooed on my heart as well…and one of His symbols tattooed around my left ankle. 😉 I look forward to reading the article later on. Thanks!

  4. Hey Jan, yes, God’s name written, on our heart, so true, (2 Corinthians 3:3) and God’s Word needs to be engraved there as well. (Prov. 3:3; Prov. 7:3)Not to throw a wet blanket on the tattoo thing, when done tastefully, I used to think they were really cool, my late husband even had one with a double heart on his upper arm with my name.BUT, God brought this verse to my attention a few years ago when reading through the Bible: “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” Levitcus 19:28There’s a difference between God’s engraving and man’s. Just some food for thought my friend…

  5. I should have expected a lively discussion on tattoos as it seems to be a hot topic these days. Susan, I respectfully disagree with you. Since Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for our sins, we are no longer under Old Testament law. The title over Leviticus 19 in my NIV Bible says “Various Laws.” In fact, the entire chapter is laws. In verse five, it talks about animal sacrifices. In verse 19: “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.” In verse 27: “Do not cut the hair on your head or clip off the edges of your beard.” Just as we are no longer subject to these laws, we are no longer subject to the law regarding tattoos. It sounds like God may have spoken to you personally regarding tattoos. I respect your decision not get one, just as I respect my various friends and family members decision to get one. I believe tattooing is a personal decision between an individual and God. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you’ll come back even though we don’t agree on this particular issue.

  6. Personally, I’m not going to get one. However, I’m not going to judge someone who does. I find the hairs we like to split to be nothing more than devices of satan to split the church, and everyone seems to have a favorite hair. For instance, my mother is convinced anyone who uses a four-letter word is bound for hell. However, she often uses the Lord’s name in vain. Look up what it says about those who use the Lord’s name in vain. From what I’ve read, it is the most serious of the Ten Commandments. Another friend has a massive sapphire on her hand but condemns the wearing of tourqouise because it is used in pagan rituals. Try looking up what sapphires are used for sometime.The point is we all have things God has convicted us of, and we need to heed that. We also need to realize God is breaking strongholds and curses over individuals and families and to do that requires individual treatment. He will require different things. We also need to realize that at the bottom of all this, God looks at the heart, not the arm or the ankle. God knows that some women wear makeup because that is what they believe a feminine woman does and others don’t wear makeup because they are celebrating God’s perfect design. We look at the action, but God looks at the heart. We are not called to police others. There are obvious right and wrong, and we need to go in love to address clear wrong in our brothers and sisters, but if we get caught up in the grey so much that it becomes divisive, we need to look at our own pride and arrogance because that is the issue. When someone’s tattoo, pierced ears, shabby shoes, or dreadlocks keep us from loving them, the sin is ours, and God is far more concerned about the sin in our heart than the ink under their skin.

  7. Grace and law are a tough subject now days it seems 🙂 All I’m encouraging us to do as Believers is to consider the WHOLE counsel of God’s Word. Compare Scripture with Scripture and see what God has to say 🙂 BTW – Leviticus 19:3 also says “Every one of you shall revere his mother and father…”I’m certainly not trying to judge my dear blog friends, just trying to encourage us to search God’s Word, all of it. Let God have the final word in our lives. And yes, taking God’s name in vain is clearly wrong. No question there :)I’ll visit again Jan, we’re after all one body because of Christ, right?

  8. So here’s my tattoo story…part 1 and 2:http://nikinowell.wordpress.com/2006/01/05/guess-whose-foot-this-is/http://nikinowell.wordpress.com/2006/01/06/tattoo-part-2/I had a similar discussion with my friend Jetty Betty when I first posted about tattoos in January of ’06. There were some interesting comments made, and the discussion got carried out of the realm of blogging and into emailing back and forth. It was all respectful – praise God! Jeri said a lot of what I would have said had she not commented, but I also really liked what you said Jan. Especially the part about us not being under the old law. I’m thankful for the work Christ did on the cross, because if you were guilty of breaking ANY part of the law, you were guilty of breaking ALL of it. Here’s an excerpt from my blog:”I read scripture about tattoos (marking your body) too and had lots of questions. It’s my understanding that the practice of the pagans of that day was to mark their bodies as a sign for the pagan gods hoping for worthiness and to be accepted. They also cut themselves. A good example of this is the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal in I Kings 18. Then I read Isaiah 44:5 about Jacobs descendants proudly proclaiming to belong to the Lord, and some would write the name of the Lord on their hands.”God reveals truths to us through scripture as we are ready, and as He sees fit. BUT, there are some things to keep in mind as you are interpreting scripture. 1. Read the Bible as a story – not a textbook. 2. Understand the culture when it was written. 3. Rely on your experience of life with our God. 4. Think for yourself. It’s all too easy to just follow what someone else tells you is right or wrong. Take your questions to God and keep yourself from judging others – that’s not your job. I have no doubt that Susan is convicted that she should not have a tattoo. That’s fine. I’m o.k. with that. I am fully convinced that mine is to honor the Lord. I think we could still be friends – unless one of us was unwilling because we couldn’t handle the other one “being in sin”. That’s judgment…in a big way…and a whole other topic. I didn’t read harsh judgment into her comment, so I’m making no assumptions here. But I have been judged like that before.Jan, your comment to Ted made me laugh. You’re such a mother! 😉 It was good advice though! And Ted…email me and I’ll give you the info. on my tattoo guy. He’s really good – won awards and everything. Who knows what he’d be willing to draw or not?

  9. My links didn’t work. Let’s try again:www.nikinowell.wordpress.com/2006/01/06/tattoo-part-2/www.nikinowell.wordpress.com/2006/01/05/guess-whose-foot-this-is/It’s too long to post as a link, so you’ll have to type it all in or cut and paste it. What a pain…blogger stinks. 😉

  10. Allow me to just say “Ted, I love ya, man.” Courage the Cowardly Dog is awesome. I’ve seen almost every episode and have been a fan for about seven years. That would be a friggin’ awesome tattoo. I desperately want to see it when you get it!As for the whole tat thing, I’m going to get one in late winter/early spring when my brother-in-law, who is a tattoo artist, comes to visit. I’m still trying to decide what to get. A dedication to hops and barley science have been symbolic of my relationship with my dad, which has been awesome. I’ll probably get something like that. I dunno, maybe I’ll change my mind by then, but I’m thinkin’ in that direction.I think we have been so distracted in our “church” culture by appearance that we sacrifice essence for it. Piercings, dreads, tats, clothes, etc. We think that it is more important to be right than good. Jesus showed us what it is to be good. He didn’t judge the woman at the well, the Roman soldier or the beggars who cried out to him. He showed them what it was to be good and allowed the Spirit to do the work. I think we have to do the same. Let me be clear, I’m making no accusations here. I’m just saying, I think that is the gospel ethic that we need to live by. Accountability has it’s place, but we’ve taken legalism to a whole new level in the church in our country. Many freak if they eat lunch with someone and the other person orders a beer. That’s just ridiculous.Some will get tats and piercings and some won’t. One way or another, it doesn’t make one better in any way to choose to do it or to choose not to do it.As for me…I’m planning my sleeve.

  11. I’ve been pondering the idea that we are no longer under the old law. So what part of the law are we not under? The stuff in Leviticus or the stuff in the Ten Commandments? The difference is that NOW we obey out of love, not out of fear, and we have forgiveness in Christ where we didn’t then. The Old Law was based on us, but the New Covenant is based on Christ. He is the fulfillment of the law, not the doing away with the law. If we are no longer under the Old Law then why are the earthly consequences still there? If I’m no longer under the law, then I should be able to commit adultery and be fine. Will I be forgiven? I can be. Will the consequences be huge? Doggone right they will. So when it says we are no longer under the law, what does that mean? We need to understand what that means or we end up tossing out any part of the law that doesn’t fit our desires of the moment. I know someone who has left his wife and daughters to live with a married woman who left her husband, and when asked about the covenant he made with his wife, he said he’s not under the law so the promise he made does not apply because it is about the law. So again, what part of the law are we not under? The stuff that doesn’t makes sense? The stuff that is inconvenient? And, Susan, I didn’t think you were judging. I think it is easy for us to go down that road. I caught myself going there today after I posted on a totally different issue with someone before God said, “You don’t know her heart. I do. It’s not your issue.” And of course, He was right.

  12. I propsose the earthly consequences are NOT still there, atleast not like in the OT. I haven’t heard of anyone being stoned to death, or a sword run through them for being caught in adultery or the many other consequences brought about by breaking the old law. I would also say that a lot of people still obey out of fear and not love. We are not under ANY part of the old law. I agree that Jesus fulfilled the law, that’s what makes us NOT under it. The old law was in place to show people they couldn’t do it on their own. Some of the laws were basic for cleanliness and healthy living and even though we don’t practice all of them today, some of them are still around. I don’t consider that oppressive. We all need a set of something (call them rules, guidelines, moral standards, whatever) No matter how hard the people in the OT tried to obey every single law, they couldn’t. They weren’t good enough. If it were possible, then there would have been no need for the many sacrifices that were required to atone for sin. Jesus was the perfect fulfillment of the old law. We don’t live under the 10 Commandments. We live under the 2 Jesus told the pharisees summed up all of the law. He said, “The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” btw, we still can’t do it on our own. That makes me really grateful for who Jesus is. It’s not about what is comfortable to us or what our desires of the moment are. The guy mentioned twisted scripture to suit his own needs. He also proved he doesn’t know scripture if he could say something so dumb. He needs prayer that he will be restored.There are quite a few things Christians struggle with – whether or not they’re scriptural or pleasing to God. What do you do when two believers come to different conclusions and scripture isn’t clear on the subject? Err on the side of love and let God deal with them individually. I didn’t think Susan was judging. It sounds like she has a good heart and wants to challenge others to read and think. I respect that. Good discussion…what’s next?

  13. Paul’s theme all throughout Romans is that we are not under the Law. We are justified by grace, not the Law. He says that we should not use our liberty as an excuse for sin, however, we can’t just say that we have to follow the old Law. If we do, everyone needs to remove their poly-cotton t-shirts and your jeans or skirt with the elastic waistband. However, it just doesn’t work that way.I think Romans 1-6 define what this all means really well. We aren’t under the Law. We are under grace.

  14. I agree. We are not under the law, but what does that mean (italics on *mean*)? The thing is there are earthly consequences for breaking the law. If we don’t have a Sabbath, our bodies burn out. If we have sex outside of marriage, there are all kinds of emotional and mental consequences. Granted, we don’t get stoned, but people who live with black mold still get sick.And I agree, too, that the law is so extensive we could NEVER keep it all. But I see a mentality in the church as a whole that bothers me. There seems to be some idea that God just made those rules up to prove we can’t follow rules. We didn’t need that. We had a tree of knowledge in a garden that proved that pretty well.I think the idea that we are no longer under the law tends to become a Get Out of Hell Free card and not what it should be. It should be the foundation of a relationship that truly is based on love, that is rooted in awe of a God who would send His Son to die for us and a Savior who would hang on a cross for sins He never committed. I see too many people (including myself at times) who respond with an irresponsible glibness concerning “freedoms” we have. Such sacrifice should not leave us cocky or selfishly arrogant but more passionately in love with the One who gives such freedom, and in my opinion, that love would compel us (not perfectly, but with a desire to be so) to follow as closely as we can the precepts of God.And when it all comes down, I really think we are all united on this. We all believe we are called to seek the Lord’s face and follow Him as closely as possible because we are responding to His love for us. Praise His holy name for the grace to cover us when we fail in the endeavor. And ultimately, I don’t think any of us are so up in arms about tattoos or dreads that we couldn’t all sit down with a cup of coffee and have a good chat.

  15. Wow. I came home from Bible study to find this wonderful, lively discussion!Thanks you all for being respectful of each other while feeling free to make your point. What a beautiful example of the body of Christ. We can disagree and remain civil to one another. Sadly, I’ve seen churches split over much less significant issues. Cyber group hugs to all of you. Thanks for opening up. You’re welcome any time. Isn’t it great to be bold and free?

  16. After reading about 20 or so of the comments before me, I have to say some things. I have been thinking about a tattoo, too. I have been watching Miami Ink and LA Ink, and hearing the reasons all those people want tattoos. However, I am a chicken, I don’t like needles, and I will not let just any dude in a shop color my skin permanently. Oklahoma (where I live) is the LAST state in the union to legalize tats. I think I shall go to Texas, where they have been doing this forEVER.I found the script that said you shall not get tattoos. I agree that Christ paid the debt on the cross, and freed us all from the Old Law, so I could get one without guilt of the Law.Now, I don’t believe that the 10 Commandments are nullified by Christ fulfilling the blood sacrifices. They were not presented as Suggestions or Ideas. They were Commands. The first 4 Commands were to keep God first. That has not changed, because God has not changed. God is still jealous, desiring us only for Himself.The next 6 were to show us how to deal with each other. Whether these are written into the law of the land or not, they are simple things to do or to avoid. Anything that we do has consequences. There are good and bad consequences. Breaking these Commands has bad consequences, even if you don’t feel them for a while.If you believe that these 10 were finished with the cross… then it is now OK to take the Lord’s name in vain? That is breaking Command #3. It is not like I lied about someone. That was #9. It must not be as important. (I think we all see that I am being sarcastic, and that this is a ridiculous notion.)1 John 5:2-3 ~ By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.I think the 10 are still valid. While Christ summarized the two parts in two simple statements (Love God and Love Your Neighbor), following the Law of God is never going to be as simple as it sounds.

  17. I’m right there with you–I think it’s a personal preference to get a tattoo or not, but what a great honor to bear the name of the One who gave His life for us!

  18. Wow, what a great discussion! Jan, you certainly picked a great topic. Honestly, I think this debate, other than the the fact that I can’t think of anything I’d want to have permanently on my body, is why I don’t want a tattoo. I agree that we are no longer bound by the law fulfilled by the coming of Christ. However, I also believe that our bodies are the temple of God and that we should honor God with our bodies. I try to take care of my body and make it an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord. I don’t know how or where tattoos fit into that. I’m conservative enough that I figure I’d better err on the side of not getting one. I mess up enough as it is, might as well try to get right what I can. 🙂

  19. Wow, what a great debate! My take on it comes from my past. I grew up with various groups of biker clubs, truckers, and ex-convicts as a child. My memories are not pleasant ones so I do associate motorcycles and tattoos with that. Not that I judge others that ride motorcycles, (my husband does)or those who choose to get a tattoo. I personally wouldn’t get one due to my association. But thats just my humble opinion. 🙂

  20. Thanks Danica and Ton for posting your thoughts on this topic. I appreciate the fact that while it is not your personal choice, you are not trying to place your decision on anyone else. That’s grace.

  21. I can say I have a God tattoo also….and the heart is the best spot…I personally would never get one, did everything I could to discourage my daughter from getting one (which so far has been successful) and would discourage anyone from getting one…

The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. - Psalm 34:19

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