After much thought and consideration.. I got my first tattoo.
So to answer the first round of questions I have gotten:
1. Yes, I know this is a FOREVER deal. I kinda took that into consideration when doing my research.
2. I am quite certain that the satisfactory health rating on the wall of the shop I was in made it obvious that I was probably NOT going to get infected with a disease. Oh, and the dude wore gloves.
3. Yes, It hurt like someone was cutting my skin with a knife. Over and over. The wrist: a very sensitive place.
4. No, I could not think of a more BOLD location than the one I chose. Because the head and neck were out of the question. (although I did tell my brother-in-law that my next tattoo's were either going to be "MS13" on my back or teardrops under my eye).
5. No, I am not concerned if my children decide they are going to get a tattoo one day. In fact, my biggest fear as a parent isn't that my child will get a tattoo or have a child out of wedlock. My biggest fear is that they will reject Christ. That they will decide that the God we love has been portrayed in a way that makes them unsure of His affections for them and His sacrifice to bring them to Himself. If they do get a tattoo I hope they don't get it while drunk on spring break (not that I hope they have that scenario either). Other than that, I will probably take a picture.
I was very aware the negative
Here is a snippet of something I wrote to a family member about this:
"Well I will tell you the other side to getting my tattoo. I am a "recovering legalist." I have, for years, lived in such a way that I thought I could EARN favor with God by how I acted. And I would let everyone else know how they should act too. Thankfully, about 18 months ago God really shook up my world and brought me to a true understanding about what the Gospel is really about. It's about the fact that Christ EARNED not only my righteousness (as if I'd never sinned) but also EARNED God's favor toward me. My standing with God is secure. That doesn't mean that I don't choose to obey.. but I realize that there is no amount of "good behavior" that makes God love me more. And that includes making everything black and white. Christians tend to prohibit what God allows and non Christians tend to allow what God prohibits. Both are equally dangerous. (quoting my pastor, Bob Flayhart).
Two years ago a tattoo was taboo. But not out of a mean heart.. but just not understanding that things that aren't strictly prohibited in the Bible mean it's a matter of choice/freedom to the individual. Instead, of it being about MY OPINION on the matter and everyone should just do that instead.
So getting the tattoo "Steadfast Love" is based on the bible verse: Lamentations 3:23 "The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever. His mercies are new every morning" Steadfast love: constant, unending, persistent. That's the love of the Father. I don't have to perform to get that love. But having felt that love I do want to please him. But I know now that because of Christ, His affections for me are secure. There is nothing I can do (good) to make God love me more. And nothing I can do (bad) to make God love me less.
Long story. But the truth is, I've been a Christian for 14 years and I am just now understanding a tad bit more of God's love for me. I am thankful for Christ and the freedom I have to get a tattoo (which Paul in the Bible warned us not to use our freedoms to sin.. ie. being harsh to those who don't feel the same freedom or taking part in what he strictly prohibits)."
So, if you are against tattoo's because you just don't like them, fine. But please understand that Leviticus 19:28 is not a mandate against tattoo's. It's a mandate against the worship of Baal. Big difference. I am fine with anyone not liking my tattoo for the tattoo's sake. But it is not a sin to get a tattoo. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Do you have a tattoo? Have you gotten heat from it?