After my mother's surgery last year, I decided that when she passed I would get a tattoo in her memory and honor. I've thought for almost a year, and this design is what I came up with. "Love" "Sacrifice" and “Favour” (Grace) describe more than just my mother's way of living, but also my family and the outlook on life that I should keep, even in tough times. I chose Hebrew words in the most appropriate context to what I wanted to portray. When I see this tattoo I will remember the following:
Love (bha): Love God, Family, Friends, and my Enemies AND love myself. It reminds me of the order that I should place my concerns when trials come - I need to focus on God, support my family through everything, rely on my friends, reach out to others and never give up on myself or lose track of my dreams. It's also a reminder of importance and whose guidance I should seek out. My mother loved everyone. You could meet her only once and know that she was a caring person without restriction.
1Jn 4:16 - NIV
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
Ro 8:28 - NIV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Dt 11:1 - KJV
Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.
Dt 6:5 - NIV
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Jn 13:34 - NIV
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” ~Jesus
Sacrifice (xbd): Be willing to give up anything/everything for the ones I love. It reminds me that sometimes I may have to give up time and money and pride in order to support and encourage others. I need to make time for God (sometimes I forget to do that; Love God First and keep His commandments) Give up guy's night or other events in order to be with my wife and daughter so that I can not only show love and respect, but also to teach and lead by example. I need to encourage my friends during rough times and I need to reach out to the unsaved. Lastly, I do need to make time for myself - I need to be healthy in order to provide for my family now and in 25 years. My mother continually gave of herself in order to support my father and the rest of the family. Even when she was sick, she was praying for others or visiting people who needed spiritual guidance. Mom always asked about “you” and listened to your answer.
Heb 10:10 - NIV
We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Eph 5:25 - NIV
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Eph 5:28 - NIV
Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Favour (!x): Also as Grace and Acceptance. I need to remember to rely upon God’s grace when I sin. Not only does God freely give forgiveness to those who are Christians, but he favors / accepts us all for who we are now, not who we will become. We have to look past the sin to see the person inside. It is by grace that we are saved, through faith in Christ Jesus. Divine Grace from God is His alone to give, however I can also forgive those who I love. Allen Cullen wrote a song titled “Favour I Don’t Deserve” and it was a favorite of my mother. When she was planning her funeral half a year ago, she asked that this song be played.
Ro 3:23-24 - NIV
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
2Co 12:9 - NIV
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." ~ Jesus
I actually spent a bit of time deciding on these 3 words. Love is a happy, joyful and even peaceful word. Sacrifice is a strong and sometimes painful word to think about, but it fits because I've felt pain with the loss of my mother. Favour is an elegant word that implies grace, how as Christians, we need to forgive others.
Lastly, the Celtic Trinity symbol This symbol represents that fact that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are individual and yet one. There is no start or end to the symbol. At the center of everything is God. Without God, we are nothing and life would have no purpose. I have wanted a “Christian” tattoo for quite a while. I have not found a better symbol to represent Christianity. The cross represents Christ’s life and death and implies his resurrection, but to me the Trinity symbol better shows the holiness and oneness of God.
My tribal tattoo does have an Icthus (Jesus Fish) on the front and rear of my arm. The Icthus is the Greek word for fish. The fish symbol was adopted by early Christians as a secret sign, due to persecution. The fish symbol was chosen because, in the original Greek, the letters stand as an acrostic for "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour." An acrostic is a poem whose initial or last letters can be put together to form a word or message. I don’t hide my Christianity - I’m proud to be known as a follower of Jesus - but I took the design of the Icthus in recognition of the courage and faith of those who followed Jesus in earlier times.
Find more about the tattoos and what the Bible has to say.http://www.religioustattoos.net/Bible_Support/index.php