Tattoos and Piercings

By: Kristen Clark

No matter how you slice it, we live in a culture that is quick to judge a person by their outward appearance. If you’re like me, you have probably heard some controversial opinions about whether or not Christians should have tattoos and multiple body piercings. Thankfully, the Bible speaks directly and indirectly about all of the issues of life. So where does a few tattoos and a tongue ring come in to all of this? Right in the very middle.

The only example to follow.  

Picture our savior, Jesus Christ for a minute. What does he look like to you? Imagine him as a man walking on this earth around two thousand years ago. He was the God of the universe in a human body and everything about his life was for a purpose. He lived here for thirty-three years showing us a daily example of how a human is to behave. He showed us how to treat other people, how to honor our parents, how to dress, how to love, how to eat, how to pray, and how to worship God.

Jesus gave us the pattern for holiness and godliness. His entire life was a human example of what God wants a Christian’s life to look like (that means us!). You and I are to pattern our lives after Jesus’s example. “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children” (Eph. 5:1). Did you catch that? We are commanded to imitate the life of Christ.

Two thousand years later, you and I are stilled called to the same standard of holy living. Christ lived a holy, radically set apart life from the world. He was very different. He didn’t tow the line with worldly behavior, actions, or dress. We are commanded to live the same way. “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” I John 2:6.

In our culture today, tattoos and multiple body piercings are tied to a category of people that are not known for their Christ like behavior. Even non-Christians recognize this fact. Our secular culture has a high enough standard that says, clean cut, professional people do not sport tattoos and multiple body piercings.

Judged by association. 

Have you ever noticed the way politicians, lawyers, and business people dress? They dress clean cut, professional, and don’t have tattoos and extra piercings. Why? Because we, as humans, judge a person by their appearance, and they know that. The non-christian professionals understand that in order to obtain respect and influence, they have to dress a certain way. They know that tattoos and piercings are typically linked to a people group that are rebellious, edgy, and non trust worthy.

Did you know that people develop a first impression about you in the first 10 seconds they meet/see you? You won’t always have the chance to “explain” to people why you’ve chosen to get a tattoo or that tongue ring. You’ve been judged and put into a category by that person according to your physical appearance.

Another thought is that you might be the only christian that your family, friends and classmates are ever going to see. What does your outward appearance say to them? Are you willing to portray yourself as a borderline, questionable Christian at the cost of damaging your reputation for Christ?

Representing someone worth becoming like. 

So since you are being judged by your appearance everywhere you go, and you do claim to represent Jesus Christ, make an extra effort to look modest, clean cut, and put together on the outside. That way, when someone gets to know you better, your inner beauty will naturally reflect what they’ve already seen on the outside.

I would love to know what YOU think about this topic, so leave me some comments below!

How have you dealt with this issue in your own life?
Has this topic been a source of conflict and struggle for you?

Photo Credit: – Fran Flores

Tattooed Hand


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  • ST

    Hi!!!! I just discovered this website and i was just wondering if earrings (for girls) are considered to be piercings. What do you think? Thanks!!!

    • Z

      Hey ST, honestly I think that earrings are the only acceptable body piercing for a Christian as Jewish women in scripture would have their ears pierced. Also today in our culture ear piercing is not a symbol of slavery as it was in past times but is cosmetic now.
      I don’t want to be legalistic and impose a specific standard as the bible doesn’t have a clear scripture about this apart from honouring God with our bodies, but other piercings tend to create a rebellious image as this article says and interferes with our natural body that God has given us more so than the flesh of our ear lobes. With ear piercing all that’s important is that it looks feminine, non-extravagant and not ghouly (I have seen skull earrings), multiple ear piercings may not be appropriate as it many look immodest, but that last part is just my opinion not a hard and fast rule 🙂 Just make sure you honour your dad though if you are living under his authority and maybe one day if he agrees or you are old enough you can consider it.

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