Over Christmas dinner, my sister asked me, “What would you do if your wife got a tattoo, but didn’t tell you about it beforehand?”
My sister had heard about the situation from a radio program and wanted my opinion.
I thought about the question for a few moments and responded.
When one is married, that person shares the same house as their spouse.
What if one spouse totally redecorated the house without letting the other one know? You’d have a big argument, right?
When you are married, you “share” everything, including bodies.
So if the wife decides to get a breast implant without the husband’s consent, there could be issues. Likewise if the husband decided to do something with his body.
So from the “one house” perspective, the woman is in the wrong for hiding the tattoo from her husband.
Tattoos From a Biblical Perspective
There is nothing wrong with getting tattoos from a Biblical perspective. Sure, your body is a temple (1 Corinthians 6:19), but I don’t believe you’re sinning against your own body by getting a tattoo (the verse mentioned is about sexual sin).
Since we’re talking about marriage, let’s see what the Bible says about bodies.
Let’s take a look at Matthew 19:5:
Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’”
The above verse talks about marriage and simply states that married couples are one flesh. Meaning, their bodies are no longer separate, but together in unity.
Let’s look at another verse, 1 Corinthians 7:3-5:
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
The above verse is in the context of sex within marriage. But inside the verse are two key truths:
- The wife’s body is not hers alone, but also her husband’s.
- The husband’s body is not his alone, but also his wife’s.
In a biblical marriage, both the husband and wife “share” bodies.
If the wife does something to her body (such as get a tattoo without permission), she is dishonoring her husband because her body belongs partially to him. Likewise if the husband did something to his body (guys aren’t off the hook!).
From a biblical perspective, it’s pretty clear the wife was in the wrong here regarding the tattoo.
The wife and husband share their bodies. To do something to their bodies without the consent of the spouse is not only disrespectful, it is a sin.