Did you know that one in five adults in the U.S. will get a tattoo, according to the Harris Poll? Also, we know that tattoos are popular in the armed forces. But despite their popularity, should you get one? Here are five reasons to contemplate before getting a tattoo:
1.What’s my intention? What’s driving your interest in getting a tattoo? Some reasons might be due to rebellion towards parents. If this is your sole purpose, it isn’t appropriate. It won’t prove to be effective. If you’re a teen and all your friends are getting tattoos, again, not a great reason to go and do the same. Is getting a tattoo really who you are? Be true to yourself. You may regret having that tattoo when you’re in a different stage of life. Is your motive simply as a means of self-expression–to show off your artistic talent to draw attention to yourself? Or are you using it to be a witness for Christ? Although a more worthy goal, remember there are other ways to glorify the Lord.
2. Keep Discretion and Humility in Mind – Think further down the road. If what you have tattooed would be seen by your future child(ren) is this really what you want revealed to them and the world? Tattoos in certain places bring attention to a particular area of the body, say the low back. Tattoos in these places do not cause us to think about our Lord. They direct our attention elsewhere. Allow modesty to guide you in your placement, size, type of message, etc.
3. Employment – Despite their popularity, there is still a social stigma around tattoos. Employers do take that into consideration. From the viewpoint of the employer, does your tattoo fit in with their values or the message they promote?
4. Tattoo Regret – A tattoo conveys a message. Your tattoos reflect what you value in this life. Are you proud of the message your tattoo conveys? If in doubt, don’t get it. Tattoo messages must be carefully thought out or in your latter years, that tattoo may become an embarrassment or an obstacle in some way in your life. As we age, we change. This change may mean we have no use for our tattoos we got when we were young because life has a way of changing our values.
5. To Glorify God – Although not the most effective way to use a tattoo, they can prompt a faith conversation. For example, in my previous article Tattoos – Are They Sinful, I mention that a retired military Chaplain can use his tattoos to share his faith with teens or young people, while also conveying the message that Christians don’t look one certain way.
However desirable, don’t rush out and get a tattoo. For the most part they are permanent. In addition, they can bring on allergic reactions, infections, and diseases such as Hepatitis B and C. When getting inked, remember there’s a risk in contracting bacteria because you are exposing your own blood. Think long and deep before getting inked. The best advice is to talk this over with a trusted and seasoned Christian adult.
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