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Aside from Gordon’s health and development, one of my biggest concerns as a parent is for his safety. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, especially this month when kids start back to school. There seems to an endless number of ways children get can get hurt—from accidents, bad adults, even other kids—that it can be overwhelming.
What can we do to keep our kids safe?
Yes, there are a lot of practical steps we can take, from requiring bike helmets to chaperoning our kids’ activities. But the Bible says that our efforts are in vain unless God Himself protects us:
“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1 NAS).
This is why I pray for my family’s safety every day:
“Lord, please watch over my family and keep us all safe as we go about our work today.”
Our daily lives are often filled with run-of-the-mill struggles like flat tires and runny noses. But sometimes these are part of the Enemy’s plan—to cause us to miss the final exam or the big meeting, to foster anxiety, or to just cause as much mayhem as possible. Remember, we have an Enemy who “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV). Paul explains further:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 NAS).
What can we possibly do to thwart this invisible, malignant adversary? Paul gives us the answer:
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11 NAS).
If you’ve been in the church for awhile, you’ve probably heard the phrase “armor of God.” But what is it exactly, and how do we put it on?
Here’s the full Scripture:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:10-20 NAS).
These, then, are the pieces of armor:
- Girdle (or Belt) of Truth
- Breastplate of Righteousness
- Helmet of Salvation
- Sandals of Peace
- Shield of Faith
- Sword of the Spirit/ God’s Word.
Each of these items is referenced in other places of the Bible, especially the Book of Isaiah in which the prophet spoke about Jesus long before He was born:
“Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist” (Isaiah 11:5 NAS).
“He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle” (Isaiah 59:17 NAS).
These pieces of armor, then, describe the characteristics of Jesus, who is the Word of God. When we put on that armor, we are putting on the spirit of Christ.
The Responsibility of Armor
There is much that can be learned from studying the armor of God. (If you’re looking for a Bible study topic, this is a great one!)
One important thing to note is that each piece of armor carries a responsibility as outlined in Scripture.
We are to…
- speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15);
- “die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24);
- work out our salvation “with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12);
- “live in peace with one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:13);
- “stand firm in the faith” in the face of adversity (1 Corinthians 16:13); and
- equip ourselves with God’s Word, which is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).
It’s amazing how these few verses in Ephesians succinctly captures the responsibility of Christian life! No wonder Paul says that wearing the armor will make us “able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11 NAS).
Put it On Yourself
Armor is not meant as decoration. It is to be worn with due diligence, ever ready to defend the wearer from attacks of the enemy. But how do we put it on? Through prayer.
I like to include these simple words in my daily prayers:
“Lord, please put your armor on my family and me. Put on us your girdle of truth, your breastplate of righteousness, your helmet of salvation. Shod our feet in the preparation of the gospel of peace and place in our hands the shield of faith and sword of your Word.”
I name each piece of armor to remind myself of its importance and the responsibility it represents. As I do so, I imagine each piece being placed on my spirit, preparing me for the day ahead. This makes me feel bold and courageous, ready to face the day and anything the Enemy throws at me.
Claim it For Your Kids
Even though my son Gordon is only eight months old, I pray the armor over him every night as a blessing.
“Child, in the name of Jesus, I bless you with the full armor of God. May the Lord place on you the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation. May He shod your feet in the preparation of the gospel of peace and place in your hands the shield of faith and sword of His Word.”
By blessing Gordon in this way, I’m claiming God’s promises and protection for him. I’m also teaching him to pray. (For more on blessings, check out this post.)
Don’t be fooled. The Enemy is out to destroy us and our children. This year, arm yourself and your family with the full armor of God.
Bible Craft Ideas
I found a bunch of child-friendly crafts to help teach kids about the armor of God. Find these and more on my Pinterest board, Kids Bible Crafts.
How do you explain this great big God of ours to a little kid? Learn ten easy ways to share your faith with your children (even the youngest one!) on a daily basis. Click below to get the free eBook.