The Biblical Attraction of Indebted Tattooed Women

In Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos, Lori Alexander asks “Do you know how much more attractive debt-free virgins (without tattoos) are to young men?” She never answers the question nor cites a survey of young men showing what the actual level of preference is for such women over any other women, but let’s break it down.

Taking the three in the order presented:

• If a woman is in debt, strike one.
• If she’s had sex, strike two.
• If she has a tattoo, strike three and she’s out.

Or it could be that Ms. Alexander considers each of these to be in itself an automatic disqualifier.

She also doesn’t mention what happens with those who have been married before. Are widows second-best in her eyes? What about a widow who had to take on debt when dealing with a spouse’s debilitating illness that led to death? Or a widow who also had a tattoo placed on her by the medical team who needed it as a guide to radiation therapy for her own past illness? The article suggests the conclusion is that men prefer other women to them. Again, there’s no study cited to support this but she says it’s so.

Unintended Consequences of Made-up Rules

There is an unintended consequence of Ms. Alexander’s position, one she may not have foreseen but is just as real for any man reading her post – what of a man who falls in love with a woman who is in debt, has had sex, and has at least one tattoo? Is this then a man who has made a bad choice, perhaps even a fool of a man, a man who does not prefer the debt-free virgin without tattoos that Ms. Alexander says men prefer?

Ms. Alexander doesn’t mention one of the best-known Bible stories about love and godliness, the relationship of Ruth and Boaz. If she had, she’d see that her standards do not stand up to the Bible record.

Ruth, a foreigner from Moab, may have had the skin cuttings or tattoos allowed among her people for worshipping Chemosh, the god of her culture. Also, she was a widow so there goes her virginity. And even though there is no mention of debt, she is definitely penniless and relies on charity to feed herself and her mother in law Naomi. These attributes must place her somewhere on the spectrum approaching the women Ms. Alexander posits are not as attractive to men as debt-free virgins without tattoos.

Yet the Bible recognizes attributes more important, more compelling, than the shallow matters Ms. Alexander cites. It’s right there in the third chapter of the Book of Ruth. Boaz is a rich older man, well-respected among the people of Israel, who desires to marry Ruth because she is honorable, faithful, works hard to provide for her mother in law, and shows wisdom in how she approaches Boaz to propose their marriage. As Naomi puts it, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.” (Ruth 3:18.)

Denigrating Women and Men the Bible Elevates

One interesting aspect about the way Boaz settles the matter is that another man who by cultural norms would have been expected to marry Ruth has to first decide whether to marry her himself. He does not, and he comes across poorly in the historical record: his rejection of Ruth is based on preserving his own wealth rather than preserving the legitimate interests of his close relatives. (Ruth 4:6.) This clears the path for Ruth and Boaz to marry, creating a family line that would lead to the birth of David who would become king over Israel and to Jesus who is King of all God’s people for eternity.

Boaz found Ruth quite attractive, despite not having all three attributes Ms. Alexander posits as those desired by men. (Ruth 3:10.) Is Boaz unwise in finding Ruth attractive as a woman, someone he worked hard to marry? No.

Since Ruth and Boaz were right for each other, it’s clear the three attributes Ms. Alexander lists must not be a biblically based formula for women to be more attractive than those without the three attributes. It is a random list without any support given by Ms. Alexander for its validity. And in bringing this list to bear, Ms. Alexander denigrates women and men both, by saying women who have taken on debt, etc., are less than other women in men’s eyes, and men who find them attractive are less discerning and wise than other men who disdain such women.

Please pay no attention. Have you found someone to love who loves you back? God’s blessings on you whether you or the person you love have debt or not, have had sex or not, have a tattoo or not, and may you spend a happy life together.

“Love never fails.” (1 Corinthian 13:8.) Source

You might even get a tattoo.

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51 Responses to The Biblical Attraction of Indebted Tattooed Women

  1. Tim says:

    Does Ms Alexander tell us whether she fulfilled her criteria herself? Or is she simply trying to shame other women into something that she wishes she had achieved herself but had failed to do?

    • Tim says:

      I get the impression she did.

      • Jackie says:

        Hi Tim:
        Thank you so much for the article. Actually, Lori did complete college, got a BA, taught one year then decided homemaking for life was for her. In many cases, with Lori, it is a do as I say, not as I did/or now. Love your and your thinking. As for myself, no need to say which criteria I met or did not, as I am so much more than that. We all are.

        • Tim says:

          Thanks for the insights, Jackie. And you’re absolutely right; we are much more than the limitations Ms. Alexander is putting on us. We are perfect and rich in Christ.

  2. I had to read the entire listing at Ms A’s site….I had to write a comment, it may not be allowed but here it is in response to someone who mentioned that women could got to a 2 year college and have less debt————————my comment——but you missed the entire point of this entry…should a women do anything, college or otherwise that might cause her to use time that would prevent her from having as many precious babies as possible…don’t you know that God’s ONLY will for women is to marry asap, have as many precious babies as possible and keep house and submit and obey her husband and raise those precious babies. for a women to even think of setting foot on college ground, where she might get more knowledge and training, find there is life outside of patriarchy, that women can have and be fulfilled by other than a wife/mother role, that education, medicine, science, politics, travel, art, etc could be a possible life choice/career for a Christian woman? Thoughts like that might infect her pure mind that could interfere with God’s only ever holy will of wife/motherhood/keepers at home for her and cause her future husband to stumble. God made life for woman to be one and one thing only and may women never break those bonds. Too bad God allowed His creation to have so many multitudes of living creatures (fish, birds, mammals, vegetation, deserts, oceans, astronomy, medicine and myriad sciences etc etc etc) and so much knowledge in the world to learn about that continue to tempt a woman to stray outside those bounds. As Paul said, “May it never be!”

  3. Oh, my. As a divorcee (25 years ago) with several tattoos (recent), I suppose I ought to feel like a worm after reading Ms. Alexander’s blog post. Not.

    As I was telling the elderly president of my UCC congregation on Sunday, and using my shoulder and upper arm as illustration, I can preach using my tattoos. The Ichthus fish from a carving on a tomb in the Roman catacombs, the Trinity symbol from the book of Kells, a classic/traditional rose tattoo (with the ribbon saying Rose of Sharon, referencing the Song of Solomon 2), and my newest, a Monarch butterfly on a branch. My tattoo artist did a gorgeous job of the butterfly, incorporating the reference 2 Corinthians 5:17 into the branch, too!

    At least I don’t have any debt from seminary, when I attended in the early 2000’s. All paid for by an inheritance from my agnostic mom and from a generous scholarship from a PC/USA church specifically for people training for ministry.

    • Tim says:

      She definitely did not have you in mind when she wrote that post. Then again, her narrow legalism draws a circle that puts you and me on the outside. That’s ok. We’re encircled by the arms of Jesus.

      • Oh, Tim, I could go on and on about legalism and the complementarian POV. With a BA in church music from Moody Bible Institute (pre-divorce, while married to a Moody man), I have stories…
        And, I fully embrace my redeemed/reconciled/egalitarian position in Christ Jesus.

    • have you told Ms. A that your life does not line up with what she feels is God’s plan for every woman? ..I think every Christian blog (especially women’s blogs) should have a disclaimer (/S) that goes something like this…”.I am not God and not responsible for your life, though I feel you should take what I say as from God’s mouth since it is written that way in the bible. . What i write here is based on what i am convinced is God’s ONLY plan for MY life (and yours too if you will just open your eyes tainted by the world) and I gladly share that with you. What you do with this info is up to you (even though I am convinced you are sinning if you do not follow it) …When we stand before God in the great judgement to give account for our lives, you will not be able to hold me accountable for what you did in your life, even if you followed everything exactly as I believe and it did not turn out as rosy as my life did, that blessings in my life for doing it this way were obstacles, curses or problems for you. (your heart was probably not as pure as mine so that is why god withheld his blessings !)”

  4. Linn says:

    We have some lovely tattooed couples at my church. I’m too afraid of needles and too old for tattoos, and they’re not my style…but I know God cares more about the heart than whether or not anyone has tattoos.

  5. Laura Droege says:

    I read the post. I can’t even fathom this line of thinking. Even my complementarian church is close enough to egalitarianism that they would never encourage young women NOT to go to college if desired & possible. And I think plenty of folks there would think that a young woman living and working on her own is actually desirable, in some ways, because it shows the ability to function as an adult in the world. I never did that–aside from a year in the dorms and a few months sharing an apartment in college–I lived at home and went to college without a job until I got married. (Lots of reasons for that. Mainly health.) I wish I had had the chance, though; there were a lot of “adult” things that I didn’t know how to handle until I was married. I’m encouraging my daughters to be much more self-sufficient than I was.

    One line about the “danger” of women going to college stuck out at me:
    “They will start having babies later in life. That is if they can still conceive naturally.”
    Okay, I not only went to college but (horrors!) went to graduate school (after I was married, too!) and I was able to become pregnant naturally at the ripe old age of 24. I was fortunate not to have issues with infertility for my first child; I don’t mean to offend those who have struggled with this. But this line of thinking is absurd: infertility and higher education aren’t linked, as this ominous line suggests.

    It strikes me that her post is conflating personal preferences with Biblical absolutes. Certain people might prefer non-tattooed people as marriage partners, others might not care. Certain people might prefer virgins (though the reasonable ones will be understanding of already-married or formerly-abused partners) and others might not care at all. Certain people might prefer debt-free, others might be more cautious but okay with certain types of debt, and others might not care at all. But none of these preferences for a marriage partner are absolute requirements set out by Scripture. The Bible urges us to marry others of our faith. It doesn’t mention that these Christians must be tattoo-free, debt-free, and completely without any sexual experience (positive or negative).

    • Tim says:

      In reading her post it became clear that any lack of knowledge and experience that comes from living as an independent responsible adult was fine; the husband would do the thinking and deciding. It was gut wrenching to read that part in her post.

  6. Anu Riley says:

    I hope that no victim of abuse or sexual assault reads this. Or, someone who has lost a loved one (will explain further)

    Something that was forced on you, was taken away from you without your choice—should never be used as a way to shame you even further. Now no man will want you.

    In fact, abusers love to use traumatic events or an abusive childhood to “gaslight” you and exploit your weaknesses. They know your insecurities, your sore spots, which buttons to push that will debilitate you and victimize you even further.

    A lot of people come out of abuse and make certain choices that in hindsight—they regret— but at the time they were spiraling out of control. This might include: having premarital sex, getting tattoos or going into debt. It might include turning to drugs or alcohol or some other addiction, but interestingly that didn’t make her list of don’ts.

    This can also happen if you are terribly traumatized by loss of a loved one. I read a story about a 9-11 widow who went on a shopping spree to fill the horrible void she felt. In the season of grief or trauma—-we all are capable of making choices that later one we regret.

    Her stupid criteria leaves little room to acknowledge the frailty of mankind. It actually leaves little room for error if you want the ONE thing every human beings wants more than anything: love.

    • Tim says:

      Her teaching leads to women thinking they have to spend their entire marriages trying (but never succeeding) to make up for whatever “deficiencies” Ms. Alexander says they have.

  7. NJ says:

    I’ve already decided that if I ever have occasion to travel to Jerusalem, I will make a pit stop at Razzouk tattoos to finally get one, if I haven’t done so already. Their story is fascinating; they’ve apparently been providing Christian tattoos in Egypt since the 1300s, and one of them set up shop elsewhere in the Christian quarter of Jerusalem in the 18th century.

    My husband thinks the idea is cool. I guess Lori wouldn’t approve of him either. 💁 And mind you, I hate getting shots! But I would totally do that.

    • Tim says:

      What would you get?

      • NJ says:

        Either a stylized chi rho symbol, or a cross like,
        IC | XC
        NI | KA

        The cross would be a lot more filled in, obviously. Taken together, the greek letters mean Jesus Christ conquers.

        • NJ says:

          Ack, the formatting didn’t work. But it’s basically a two dimensional cross with the letters IC XC NI KA around it. I don’t know exactly how old it is, but I know it goes back centuries.

  8. leftydf says:

    Besides the data-free thesis and the unbiblical shaming that you pointed out, I was horrified by her screed against women going to college. I wanted to mention in the comments to her piece that I have several degrees, was married at 22, and just celebrated my 35th wedding anniversary, plus raised two kids, despite the horrible disqualifier of being, gasp, educated. But that would have been as anecdotal as her rant, so I decided not to go there.

    The thing that scares me about that advice to young women is what happens to them if something goes wrong–husband dies or becomes disabled, a divorce, husband loses his job or is underemployed? How is she supposed to care for herself and any children? Not that college is the be-all and end-all for everyone, but I would never ever counsel a young woman to be completely dependent on a partner. And what if she never marries? It happens, more and more so these days.

    • Tim says:

      I don’t know that she has the answer, except that God will provide. That reminds me, though, of the people Paul wrote about who thought they didn’t have to work because they thought the second coming was imminent, and then they had to hope others would feed them in the meantime.

  9. jyjames says:

    “Have you found someone to love who loves you back? ” Good question, Tim.

    Apparently, sans tattoo + virginity + sans debt is the new Christian Trophy Wife. Now we know, ladies, how to catch (or avoid) a not-so-charming guy, if these are his core values. Not compelling. Three strikes and if that’s all he’s got, he steps below the line of attractive. Walk on. And the ladies who highly value these three “qualities”? Definitely not a BFF.

  10. Michelle says:

    That article disgusted me. If you want a good laugh, go look up the transformed wife 2.0 on facebook.

    Lori and her husband block everyone with negative comments on her blog and her fb page. The funny thing is that her husband admitted to hiring a house keeper! Oy!

    It makes me sad that churches and Christians push this kind of thing. I’ve seen it too much and left a church that pushed this crap. So many rules and no Jesus to be found anywhere. Glad I escaped. I feel for women who can’t. My husband never bought into that BS but even he was starting to demand of me bc we attended a church like that. It produces evil thinking. She shouldn’t be teaching anyone. Sad that she has a following.

  11. I actually wrote about Lori and “made up rules” too. Just taking note of some like-mindedness. 🙂

    A big problem for me is that Lori, as a woman, allegedly can’t teach doctrine or theology. She refers all those questions to her husband, so she won’t be seen as “teaching.” Then she proceeds to “teach,” doctrine and theology…… without any doctrine and theology! That just messes with my head! You can’t do that! That’s craziness. A big part of her problem is that she’s not actually in the bible herself and personally accountable for how she handles it. Also, if her husband is supposedly “supervising her theology,” he obviously needs to be fired.

    • Tim says:

      The inconsistencies are in her teaching as well as in her philosophy of teaching. Messes with my head too – that is, if I bothered trying to reconcile the inconsistencies, but it’s beyond my ken.

  12. What would I give? says:

    What article is this? Now I want to read this.

  13. What would I give? says:

    “The husband will need to take years teaching his wife the correct way to act, think, and live since college taught them every possible way that is wrong.”

    Okay so here is my comment to the quote above:

    This is a very ignorant statement. She is basically elevating a man above his humanness. To assume that a man can’t be influenced in action, though, and his life by a University is VERY ignorant. She does not outwardly say this, but she is saying that husband (a man) is left to “correct” a woman in ways of how to act, thing, and live since a women’s college education taught us everything is wrong. Sorry, but this is putting men in a very dangerous position. I would say thats placing them in almost as high a position as God.

    The blog was interesting to read to say the least.

    • Tim says:

      She teaches just that – a husband’s job is to correct his wife’s wrong thinking, and any time she disagrees with her husband she is automatically thinking wrongly.

      • What would I give? says:

        I find that terrifying for women who accept her teaching as truth. What a heavy burden they must carry.

        As a family studies major, I find that way of thinking an easy avenue for possible abuse.

        Thank you for all your posts. I find them refreshing.

        • Diane says:

          I grew up in a church that taught exactly what Lori wrote about! The abuse was RAMPANT!!!!!! Literally my sisters and I didn’t want to get married because of what we saw growing up. We were treated like someone’s property and we had no voice.

      • Tim says:

        Because of course only a man can think correctly!!!!

  14. What would I give? says:

    “in action, thought, and his life”

  15. This would be laughable if she didn’t have so many followers who will be influenced by her teachings *cough* I mean her man-made rules.

  16. Tara Galles says:

    So I did an informal survey, the men unanimously agreed it’s better to be a woman’s last significant other rather than her first!

  17. Pingback: Tattooed, In Debt, and Loved – A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

  18. Brady Mayo says:

    Somebody may have already mentioned this, but didn’t God tell Hosea to marry a prostitute to be a picture of God’s love for sinners. It’s this self righteous trophy wife talk that never ceases to amaze me.

  19. liz says:

    Hey Tim,
    I just landed on your site from Crying out for Justice. I am finally breaking free of a 29 year abusive marriage to a “closeted” gay man with a sexual assault history. He recently confessed the sexual assault hoping I would step into the unbiblical formula of: I confess+you forgive=we reconcile…
    I am grateful that I had the foresight to complete a doctorate while homeschooling children all the way still believing patriarchy was the way. Because I no longer hold to the permanence of marriage view or even complimentarian marriage (sneaky buzz word for patriarchy…) All of my daughters now have college degrees and in some cases advanced degrees and can support themselves while living in major metropolitan cities. I have so many women in my community absolutely in bondage to their churches and husbands due to permanence of marriage (nonsense) in abusive marriages and are terrified to leave because they have no means of supporting themselves.
    and yes I have tattoos……

  20. Virginia says:

    What about Hosea and Gomer? Surely she wasn’t a virgin and, chances are, had tattoos. (Guessing on the tattoos..)

  21. Gleaning was a form of labor. So Ruth was working outside the home too.

    As a member of an online support group for childless women (we all wanted kids) I have never shared a linkto Lori’s blog. Others might laugh it off or get irritated. For us it’s just spitting on our grief.

    Her assumption that all women without babies CHOSE to be that way is not only silly but cruel.

    “I don’t know why some people choose to live in poverty instead of being millionaires
    “I don’t know why some people choose to have cancer instead of being healthy.”

    Assuming you wanted children, it is painful to watch this dream die.

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