What do you think about tattoos?

Last updated on May 5, 2024


I hope this finds you in good health. 

I have been considering getting a tattoo when I turn 18. I haven’t decided what to get yet. The concern is whether a man of God will find me less attractive because of the few hidden tattoos I desire to one day have around my body. What are your thoughts on this?

My mother has tattoos, but she says she got them before she met Christ.


Under the Old Law, the Israelites were forbidden to imitate the idolatrous religions around them. One practice was to make marks on the body, either by tattoos or by scaring, to show which god (or ancestor) you served. So God told the Israelites, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:28).

Today, tattoos are used mostly for decorative purposes, but they can still be used wrongly. To use them to make statements that should not be associated with Christians would be obviously wrong. “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:3-4). But we should also be careful about subtle associations. We don’t want to tie ourselves to organizations or people who do not represent proper Christian attitudes. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:14). While vows of fellowship may not be involved, a tattoo is a permanent mark and people will make conclusions when they see it.

Even though tattoos are more accepted than in the past, you have to remember that they can impact your job prospects. Employers don’t want noticeable tattoos detracting from the nature of their business. It is possible that a boyfriend might not like tattoos but you might find a man who doesn’t care. That sort of thing is difficult to predict.

Apply the same principles of modesty used for selecting clothing (I Timothy 2:9-10). You don’t want to call attention to yourself because of a tattoo you have on you. If people notice you, it should be because of your Christ-like behavior.