I wanted to share an article that I wrote about tattooing for a newsletter created by my pastor and other saints from my congregation. I wrote this article because I am seeing first hand the after effects of a phenomenon that is hundreds of years old, but is growing into a increasingly large mega trend among mine and the younger generation that is following. I decided to share my article because it is something that I did as a young rebellious woman, and now that I am older and about to be married, the damaging consequences are amplified more than ever. I was blessed though that my tattoo is small enough to have surgically removed before my wedding. However, I am being buffed about for my own faults, because as with all sin, it comes with a price, a whopping $650 price tag.
I don't mind sharing my story. I have told my FDH as much as I could tell while still being expedient and not painting a picture. I had to tell him, that I have an ungodly tattoo on my body that I feel would be an embarrassment for him to see once we get married. I told him that while I didn't feel led to go into details of my tattoo (i.e place, type, etc..) it wasn't something that I felt would be beneficial to our marriage. I mean, of course he knows that God cleaned me up from a miserable sinful life, and while I know he loves me unconditionally it still doesn't mean that I want my past to be advertised on my body for the rest of my future. So I sought out a board certified dermatologist and he explained the simple procedure. A small incision will be made on the tattoo, and a small portion of it will be removed from the top layer of skin, and the skin will sewn back together. Simple as stitching a deep flesh wound. Yes I will have a small scar, but to look at a scar versus looking at a constant reminder of a piece of me that was so opposite to who God has made me today is so much more worth it. To be able to feel completely free about that part of my sins being physically removed from me is very liberating. I feel a lot less embarrassed about myself. Don't get me wrong, while my self esteem doesn't suffer, the constant reminder of my sinful stupidity tends to be a thorn in my side.
I am sharing this because I don't want other young women to go through this. While explaining this may seem simple, its very costly financially, emotionally, and not to mention the physical pain I will endure, because I didn't mention that I can't afford anesthesia so this will be a deadening of the skin w/local anesthetic type thing. The price of sin is a great cost, and it's a cost that can be easily avoided by just serving God from the days of your youth. I encourage all young girls to just hold on and serve God, there is no temptation, peer pressure, fad or trend that you won't later regret and pay a price for. Below is the article I wrote.
Tattoos: The Devil’s Advertising
Tattooing for my generation and those younger is almost considered a rite of passage. According to statistics taken from a 2006 a study done by the Journal of theAmerican Academy of Dermatologyfound that 24% of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed; that's almost one in four. And the survey showed that about 36% of Americans age 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo!
Now I know that this may not seem very interesting or relevant, but as a human resource professional with one of the largest hospitals in the state, I see all to well the regret that comes with what the world calls art. I see applicants during interviews that can’t focus on the interview because they are worried about the impression and perception that they are giving when they have exposed tattoos. I see business men and doctors who will never wear short sleeves because of the unprofessional stigma that is tied to visible tattoos in corporate America. I see women who have a harder time achieving their professional goals because they are exposed with disgraceful highly visible tattoos that are frowned upon in management. With all that being said, I won’t even get into all the health risks that are associated with getting tattoos.
Unfortunately my generation and the generations behind me seem to think that tattooing is a form of artful expression, or as I said earlier a rite of passage. It has gone from discreetly hidden to blatantly portrayed, there are even those who use their faces as a canvas to display the colorful, permanent, and hideous display of what I call the devil’s advertising. The devil tricks you that it’s cool, and turns you into a permanent walking advertising billboard.
I don’t mean to sound judgmental, I admit I deal with the shame of this every day because when I was in my sin, I thought it was cool to get not one, but two tattoos. Even though I am now saved, my sins are forgiven, and I have on a new garment of a new man, when I see what I did to my body I feel regret. Yes, God has delivered me, but the stamp of Satan serves as a constant reminder of what he delivered me from.
You can have tattoos removed, but the costs are high and painful as with all sin. That one moment of pleasure costs you more that its worth in the long run. My message is simple, your body is not yours but the Lord’s (I Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?). One day you will get older, and you will desire a career, family and all those other things that are associated with becoming settled. Don’t let the devil’s advertising stand in your way. Don’t run the risk of having to explain to your children how it’s not good to get tattoos all the while as you constantly walk around displaying yours.
Thanks for reading and be blessed and stay encouraged! smfg
Seriously? The Devil's advertising? Come on! How many people out there in the world gets something done to their body to change what "God" intended for them? Braces, dentures, ear-piercing, something so simple as cutting your hair or shaving your legs, face or any other part of your body on which you have unwanted hair. Do you frown upon these things as well? Dont think so. Though, all these things are minor and sometimes necessary, they all go against what "God" had in mind for your body. Hell, I'm sure even getting glasses, no matter how necessary the case, isnt something your "God" intended. Really, now. I understand in your eyes tattoos are "unsightly", which is completely fine. But to say they are "The Devil's Advertising" is a little much, no?
You may never read this, but what a horrible thing to say. I grew up in a devoutly Christian home. My father was a minister of education, a pastor, and is currenlty a director of missions. I can understand that your tattoo reminds you of a dark time in your life. Therefore, I can also understand you wanting to have it removed. I do not,, however, understand how you can call it a sin. Just because tattoos are not completely accepted by society doesn't make them a sin. You probably eat hamburgers and ice cream and other things that are more desecrating to your body than a thin layer of ink under your skin. I recently got a small tattoo on my wrist of a treble and bass clef. My relationship with God is nowhere near as strong as it used to be. Let me explain. Remember my dad, the pastor? He started a new church and guess who the piano player was. God gave me a gift. I am a fairly decent piano player. I have a good ear and can hold a steady beat. I'm no prodigy by any means and definitely not a musical genius, but music speaks to me. Piano music especially moves me in a way that nothing else can. Playing the piano used to be a release for me, an escape, and it used to be a way to please God. That was taken away from me. My joy in playing was stolen to "glorify" God. When it becomes a duty or empty motions, it is no longer glorifying. I am bitter that that was taken from me. I decided, after several years, to get this treble and bass clef tattoo as a reminder to myself of the gift that God gave me and the love I used to have and hope to recapture in the future. My heart hurts without it. I think that calling something you've decided you don't like anymore a sin is a perverse thing to do. God loves those of us with hideous and disgraceful tattoos, us sinners, just as much as he loves you.
To the others who posted a comment, I find your points very convincing. In my church, we also believe that our bodies are temples of the Lord. For that matter, we also do not approve of piercings, although we consider one hole in each ear acceptable. For those who were not taught and do not believe tattoos to be sinful, we believe they are transgressing without knowing the law, and therefore do not find them accountable.
That being said, I would like to thank the author of this article. I am going to have my nipples tattooed on after surgery because I won't have any anymore. But I'm choosing to believe that a reconstructive tattoo is not the same as having pictures drawn on my skin. However, because they usually require a spot test for allergic reaction, I was considering using it as an excuse to do more...maybe something related to my children, like their initial behind my ear, etc. But your article reminded me of the temple of the Lord that my body is, and while recreating what was supposed to be there may or may not be a sin, further embelishment certainly is. Thank you.