Last night, I got my ring tattoo. I imagine that over the next few weeks I'll have the same five questions asked, so I thought I'd prepare some answers in advance:
1. Are you serious?
This question will either come from people who aren't physically in my presence OR people who think I just used a marker to draw a line on my ring finger. The reason for disbelief is understandable. It is actually surprising that I got a tattoo. I don't like tattoos in general. I am still completely un-interested in getting any other tattoo. But my answer here will have to be yes.
2. Did it hurt?
Well, I wouldn't do it just for fun... but it didn't hurt as much as I expected. I was given the impression that mine would hurt moreso than most b/c it was all the way around a finger. And that makes sense. But it didn't hurt nearly as much as I had expected. It was very tolerable.
3. Isn't that unbiblical?
It was wrong for Israelites to get marks on their bodies in worship of false gods or to harm their bodies in hopes of attaining a better ability to mourn the dead. But tattoos, in general, are not a moral issue. God gave Cain a tattoo. God commanded Israelite men to cut their bodies (circumcision). The act is not moral. It's the content of the symbol that is at issue.
4. What motivated you to do that?
So what's the content of the symbol in my case? I have 3 basic reasons for getting a wedding ring tattoo. 1. I don't like wearing jewelry (how's THAT for Old Testament allegiance!). 2. I look forward to conversations about a Christian's relationship to the Law that it may provoke (edifying conversations) and 3. In this age of temporary marriages, I liked the idea of a tattoo ring so as to symbolize the permanence of the commitment I made to Katie. A ring can be discarded quite easily. It would really hurt for me to go back on this!
5. Isn't that the mark of the beast?
No. Get real.