Dr. Russell Moore gives wise counsel to a young man caught betwen two desires: getting a Christian tattoo and honoring his parents.
I’m not making an anti-tattoo statement here. Whether tattoos are permissible for followers of Jesus is debatable, but really extraneous to this discussion. Your parents understand, I’m sure, your zeal. They’re also though able to imagine a fuller arc of life than you can right now. They know there are a lot of things one can decide at eighteen that one would see differently at a later time.
A tattoo is (apart from expensive, extensive work) a permanent decision, a permanent decision made by a very young man that his older self, his wife, his children, and everyone in his life will, in some way, have to live with.
It may be that getting this tattoo is precisely what you ought to do. If so, then work toward being on your own, cultivating the maturity and the wisdom to hear outside counsel and to think this through with the mind of Christ. In the meantime, though, be a sign of the gospel by submitting to your parents even in something in which you think they’re short-sighted. Submission, after all, isn’t to things one readily sees as good ideas; that’s called “agreement.” Submission is often in matters in which one thinks one knows better. God will bless that.
The young man’s letter to Dr. Moore and Dr. Moore’s entire response are worth reading.
[HT: Between Two Worlds]