What Does The Bible Say About Tattoos?

In today’s modern time, tattoos are getting more popular than ever today. The number of people with tattoos has increased a lot in recent years.

The New Testament does not really say whether or not a believer in Christ can get a tattoo. But before you jump for joy, we need to understand in what certain context tattoos may be allowed and when it is not allowed.

Firstly, you need to know that getting a tattoo is not a sin. The more serious issue is what does the tattoo you are getting represents and show to others?

Tattoos Can Dishonor Our Parents

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” which is the first commandment with a promise ” – Ephesians 6:1-2

Generally, most parents will reject the idea of allowing their children to have a tattoo on their legs, hands, or any part of their bodies as a sign of rebellion in society.

For children who want to insist without the permission of their parents is a violation of his or her parents as you do not honor them.

Tattoos Can Be Symbols of Outward Adornment

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” – 1 Peter 3:3-4

The Bible states very clearly that your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as using tattoos on our bodies to show a certain impression or image to others to see.

Anyone who desires a tattoo with the intention of getting people’s attention or draw people’s respect for you will encourage pride in our life which is a sin.

God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” – James 4:6

Motivation To Get A Tattoo For Wrong Reasons is A Sin

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

God sees our hearts and every intention of our actions daily. And if the motivation behind getting a tattoo so that the person “fits in” or “to stand out” in the crowd. That will fall short the glory of God’s standard.

The tattoo itself might not be a sin, but the motivation behind having it might be.

What Situations Can Tattoos Be Allowed?

We have acknowledged that tattoos themselves are not a sin. It is more so the actions and intents of what it represents that encourage sin.

Therefore, in my personal view tattoos such as eye embroidery or cosmetic tattoos I believe are alright as it’s the intent behind them is to avoid embarrassing cases. For example, cancer patients who lost all of their hair and eye browns hair might find it hard to socialize and gain confidence in themselves I feel in such use case can be allowed.

As long as the tattoo is never been used to uplift someone’s status or to show off but instead is used help people gain back their confidence to be able to be socially accepted,  I feel it is still ok.

However, if eye embroidery is done out of convenience of saving time and with an intent to draw more attention to themselves might not be ok to do.

Your Body is The Temple of The Holy Spirit

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, so the question here is how much modification of that temple is appropriate? My personal view on this, as far as possible do not modify any part of your body unless to avoid embarrassment use case only.

You might also want to ask yourself is that tattoo and modifications to your even needed? Spend some time in reflection and pray about it or discuss it with your local pastor.

Tattoos Can Be Idolatry and Superstition

Even some Christians find it is alright to have tattoos of a cross on their bodies. Is that even allowed? In my view, the question is more about why you want to have that cross on your body for others to see? It is a fashion statement ? or are you trying to tell everyone you believe in Jesus?

Because not careful, even cross tattoos or any symbols are drawn on your body can be part of idolatry and superstition which is very wrong.

It was very common during the Old Testament time, that pagans will use tattooing as a pagan practice connected with idolatry and worship to a false God.

One example is how about a tattoo of the face of Jesus on your arm? How do you even know if that face is Jesus or just any false image of satan who pretends to be Jesus? Yes for your information, satan can pretend to be angles , Jesus and pastors too.

Remember when you are always in doubt or not sure if you can get that tattoo always discussed it with your local pastor and parents before you make that decision to have them. If possible do not even consider or think of having them to avoid any unnecessary practice of unholness to God.