What Does the Fear God Tattoo Meaning?

Fear God Tattoo

The “fear god” tattoo has become an increasingly popular religious tattoo design, especially among Christians. But what is the real meaning and origins behind this phrase?

In short, the “fear god” tattoo symbolizes living life in alignment with Christian values and God’s purpose, often as a reminder to make righteous decisions that honor the Lord.

Throughout this blog post, we’ll break down the meaning behind the words “fear” and “God” in the Bible, key verses that mention fearing God, how it differs from just being afraid, the symbolism behind the tattoo design, and popular variations.

Where Does the Phrase “Fear God” Come From?

The expression “fear God” originates from the Bible and appears numerous times throughout both the Old and New Testaments. It reflects an attitude of reverence, awe, and deep respect towards God.

Fearing God is about living a righteous, moral life that aligns with God’s commandments and will. It represents a desire to earnestly avoid sinning and displeasing the Lord. The “fear” is not about being afraid or scared of God in a frightening sense. Rather, it refers to recognizing God’s power and sovereignty and responding accordingly.

Key Bible Verses About Fearing God

Some of the most well-known Bible verses that mention fearing God include:

  • “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10) This verse emphasizes that fearing (respecting) God is where true wisdom starts. Knowing and standing in awe of the Lord brings understanding and intelligence.
  • “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul?” (Deuteronomy 10:12) This verse from Moses’ teaching explains part of what it looks like to fear God – following his commandments, loving Him fully, and serving Him with devotion.
  • “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” (1 Peter 2:17) Peter instructs believers to have the proper fear (respect) for God.
  • “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” (Psalm 147:11) This Psalm celebrates how God takes pleasure in those who revere Him and rely on His love.

So in summary, the concept of “fearing God” in Scripture emphasizes revering the Lord, obeying Him wholeheartedly, avoiding evil, and trusting in His love. It is foundational to living a wise and moral Christian life.

How Does “Fear God” Differ from Just Being Afraid of God?

It’s important to understand that the type of “fear” the Bible refers to when it comes to God is not the same as being afraid. Rather, it means having an attitude of awe, respect, reverence, and appreciation for who God is.

Being afraid of God would imply one thinks God is cruel, mean, or dangerous. But the Bible says God is loving and good.

The “fear” commanded in Scripture means recognizing the glory, majesty, and power of the one true God. It’s about living your life in light of who He is, not cowering in fear of who He is. Having a healthy fear of God means understanding you are completely dependent on Him and wanting to avoid sinning against Him.

So in summary, fearing God is really about having the utmost awe-inspired respect, not being irrationally afraid. It’s the difference between fearing as in revering versus fearing as in being scared of. The call to fear God is about living in godly wisdom, not terror.

What Does It Mean to “Fear God”?

To fear God means submitting your will and life entirely to Him, and recognizing His supreme authority. It’s having a heart of humility that says “Lord, not my will but yours be done.” Fearing God means revering Him so much that you would never want to grieve His heart through sin and disobedience.

Fearing God means loving Him more than anything else, trusting Him even when life doesn’t make sense, and worshipping Him with awe and wonder for who He is. It’s about surrendering your desires to His greater plan and treating God as supremely holy and worthy. The one who fears God desperately longs to bring Him glory in all things. They desire His presence and praise Him. To fear God is to live in light of eternity, setting your mind on heavenly, not earthly, things. It’s loving what God loves and hating what God hates. Ultimately, fearing God leads to walking in wisdom and righteousness.

What Does the Fear God Tattoo Symbolize?

For the Christian who gets a “fear God” tattoo, this body art often symbolizes a tangible reminder to live for Jesus and pursue his purpose every single day. It represents a willingness to follow God’s calling no matter the cost. The tattoo is a mark of devotion, signaling surrender to God’s plan.

The Fear God tattoo also symbolizes a deliberate shift away from sinful lifestyles or mindsets. It reflects a conscious choice to renew one’s mindset to now align with biblical truths and values. For some, this tattoo represents leaving behind past mistakes and brokenness and embracing a new identity in Christ. Ultimately, this tattoo is a bold, permanent way to declare your commitment to honoring God with your whole life.

Popular Variations for Fear God Tattoo Designs

There are many options for stylizing and customizing Fear God tattoos:

  • Ribbon banner with “Fear God” elegantly written in script or calligraphy
  • Clouds and rays background with “Fear God” in bold sans serif font
  • A heart shape with “Fear God” in the center
  • Cross tattoo with “Fear God” worked into the design
  • Fear God alongside uplifting Bible verses like Philippians 4:13, Isaiah 41:10, or Psalms 56:3
  • A religious image like praying hands or a dove alongside “Fear God”
  • Gothic or tribal font for a bold “Fear God”
  • “Fear God” on the knuckles or fingers
  • Continuous arm/leg script quoting Proverbs 9:10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”

These are just a few of the many options for visually representing the “Fear God” motto through body art. Placement on the arm, shoulder, back, chest or leg are all popular. The meaning remains the same regardless of font and design style.


In summary, the “fear god” tattoo serves as a symbol of devotion to living a Christian life that reveres, obeys and honors the Lord. It represents an attitude of respect and awe, not one of simply being afraid. The phrase finds its origins in numerous Bible verses that command believers to fear God, which means earnestly avoiding sin and trusting in God’s sovereign power and love. For the tattoo wearer, this body art can serve as an inspirational reminder to make decisions that align with biblical values and principles. It reflects a desire to live wisely and righteously by fearing the Lord.

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