Ain’t Got No Ink On Me

I have been wanting a tattoo since before my son was born. My sisters both have ink, my mom has ink, my aunt has ink, all of them have stories to tell as well. My sis has a new one that says “Beautiful Disaster,” because she is frequently well put together on the outside but says her inside is a mess. I have designed several I’ve thought about getting but something always holds me back. And I believe it’s that still small voice that speaks up every time I get too involved with myself.
Let me explain. My husband and I gave up Facebook around Lent last year and neither of us missed it. We started using it again after our brief “social media fast” and I noticed something then about my internet habits… They were habits. I would check my phone literally every 3 minutes looking for a new notification. I got a “buzz” of self-gratification every time a status I posted was “liked” or commented on and I found myself looking for justification and validation of my thoughts feelings and opinions from other people instead of returning to God’s word to find HIS strength and value and worth. Using Facebook for me was sinfulness in that I was totally absorbed by it and neglected my family and became very “me-centric” which is not honoring to God. Staring at what other people have to say about life instead of engaging in conversation with my husband was robbing us of intimacy. Not only that, most of our “friends” on Facebook had very different values from our own and we found ourselves getting angry looking at the various propagandas or opinions that weren’t supported either by fact or Scripture. So we got rid of it and it has been the best decision for us. We are more intentional about making contact with each other and with family. We ponder every now and then about re-making an account, but I think we both know deep down that it would manifest in more harm than good.
The same rings true for me and tattoos. I don’t believe that they are inherently evil (though they were a pagan tradition) nor do I believe the people who have them are sinful. It is not just skin deep for me; it comes down to motive. Why do I want a tattoo? I think it would be pretty, I think it would be a cool way to display outwardly the things I hold dear, I would appreciate telling the stories that went along with them, I would be flattered by compliments… But those are all about me. I really struggle with body image and self worth, and I always have. My motives stem from that approval-seeking attitude. I constantly try to live up to society’s expectations of beauty rather than those of God my Creator. What does the Bible have to say about it?
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments…” 1 Timothy 2:9

“Your beauty should not consist of outward things [like] elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes instead, [it should consist of] the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes.” 1Peter3:3-4

“And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

“Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Do you have a conviction? Keep it to yourself before God. The man who does not condemn himself by what he approves is blessed.  But whoever doubts stands condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from a conviction, and everything that is not from a conviction is sin.”
Romans 14:22-23 HCSB
So that’s where I’m coming from. A part of me wishes my sister’s tat said, “Beautiful Disaster Daughter” because her outside is beautiful yes, but Christ died for her outside and inside, and it’s her heart he desires, and he calls all of her blessed and beautiful. Motives matter. And my motives for wanting ink only glorify myself. It doesn’t come from faith and does not glorify God, therefore, for me (specifically me, myself, this is a personal conviction, not a blanket truth), to get a tattoo would be contrary to my faith walk. Maybe someday that will change, but for now, it’s more important for my faith and for my son’s watchful eyes for me to honor God first and foremost with my convictions, beliefs, and opinions.

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