The Tattoo Debate

My mother couldn’t believe it when I called her on the phone and told her about the pretty, small-stemmed red rose I chose for an imprint just off my shoulder in the famous tattoo studio close to where I stayed in San Francisco.  She muttered something negative about that sailor’s influence meaning Tom, of course.  This took place many years ago.

Maxine is right, in fact, that years later those once cute tattoos lose their appeal.  Last year, Tom introduced me to a tat artist in our small town who told me he could not remove what looked today like a glob of ink on my back but he promised a new design in that spot.  He drew a white daisy, my favorite flower, over it while Tom looked on.

Now it is my daughters who bring it up and not my mother.  While helping me get dressed after surgery, they both voiced their opinions when they noticed my daisy design.  I decided to take a tip from my mom and responded:  “Remember, girls, I married the fun guy!”

Let’s just say my sons-in-law are of the predictable sort.  I can’t imagine either one of them frequenting a tattoo parlor.

I agreed when my brother-in-law lovingly reminded me we Christians and Jews are not to mark our bodies:  Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.”  Lev 19:28

Some folks dislike tattoos and others cover their bodies with them like a billboard for art.  I’m not here to judge anyone. 

The Most Important Thing
One thing I do know and believe with all my heart.  That is, I am imprinted on God’s hand.  I belong to Him and He will never let me go.

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.”  Isaiah 49:16

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”  John 10:28


  1. Mary, I laughed and laughed at Maxine's funny. I am like you I try not to judge other's tattoos for so glad God says our name is tattooed in His hand. What reassurance to hang on to....I hope you are doing well after your surgery. Spring is not too far away and I am sure you will be out about enjoying all the beauty from the season. I hope you 've had a great day...

  2. Your post reminds me of a past coworker whose son has opened a tiny tattoo studio. She was terribly worried not only because of his ability to earn a living that way, but also because of fear someone might get hurt in the process. His clients were mostly teenagers who came to his studio with a girlfriend/boyfriend, usually without the consent or even knowledge of the parents.
    Well, I kind of shared her fear. To this day, I'm not in favor of tattoing because of fear it might do damage to the skin (or even beyond that).
    As far as I know, he's still in business, but in New York, not in Tel Aviv. Looks like an upgrade.

  3. I am not a fan of tattoos, simply because I work in a Nursing home and I see what happens to them... :) Plus a lot of people get them without really thinking! However, some people have really good reasons for getting them.

  4. Giggling over here at your telling your girls, "I married the fun guy!"
    I'm not a fan at all ..... why pay when genetics has 'blessed' me with a dizzying array of varicose veins? Unlike Tom's daughter whose tats cover both arms, I love what my DIL told her daughters a few years ago: "Why put a bumper sticker on a Bentley?"

  5. I had to smile at your mom's "that sailor's influence" comment! It made me think of my husband's uncle...he went off to the Navy with nary a tattoo anywhere and came home, nearly covered in them, much to his family's chagrin!!! He was one of the sweetest guys you could ever meet, and we all mourned deeply when he passed away a few years ago. Thanks for making me smile, sweet friend. :) Praying for you and Tom every, single day.

  6. I used that very verse of God engraving us in the palm of His hand with some Valentine surprises I did for people this year. Love thinking how loved I am by Him that He has engraved me in the palm of His hand. xx

  7. I love Maxine and that one you shared is pretty funny! I dealt with those men who have tattoos that signify "power" but in reality, they feel helpless and powerless when it comes to unseen, spiritual battles and it's sad to see. I think it comes down to a person's choice with the design they want etched on his skin. I know some who have verses tattooed and could open a way to a conversation about the Good News. But there are those who are more of evil nature and more of a turn off to those who don't like that stuff. I like the reminder you wrote about the Lord's Hands. What freedom and hope His wonderful promises give to those who believe! I'm glad your "rose" still was turned into a daisy than just a "blob of ink"! I say, you're courageous for getting those done! You're adventurous yourself! God bless and strengthen you always sister Mary.

  8. Hi Mary! Your post is so light and easy to read in one way and at the same time brings up so much , anyway for me!! At first when I saw it I kind of cringed and just thought, oh dear, I hope my daughter never comes home with a tatoo. It was my judging mind that just started to be set off!! Then of course I thought of the scripture, and was glad to read it there in the middle of your post from Lev, and then the amazing thing to me in your post was how you revealed the `Most important thing!`, of being imprinted on God`s hand, a seal upon His heart. The heart of Jesus and the strength of your knowing that God loves you, loves us, lives in us, teaches us, just shines through, and is a great teaching for me today! God Bless you and your fun husband and loving family!!!♡

  9. I have laughed so hard at Maxine! I saved that clip actually! Just cracks me up. Oh and I just shared with a precious younger sister in Christ Isa. 49:16. That is one of my favorite scriptures. Thanks for always sharing Mary and being so transparent. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  10. What? A tattoo? That's it, I'm outta here!

    Kidding of course. I am surprised to learn that you got a tattoo! But I don't begin to judge you in the least. I couldn't begin to judge you or anyone else, If I did the log in would be too big in both eyes.

    You have such a great perspective on life. You've come up with gentle wisdom that you share so kind and honestly it brings out the best in others. That's a rare gift, sister.


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