By Courtney Ingle
The back-to-school season is in full swing, and you have plenty to do already. You have to find snacks that are compatible with allergy restrictions. There’s reading homework, spelling homework, math homework, sports practice, deadlines, tutoring, a bake sale, a pep rally …
No pressure, right?
Sure, these things are important. But there are some vital supplies you won’t find on a school supply list: The Armor of God.
Let’s think about armor for a second. What is its function? It protects you in battle. It prepares you for whatever the enemy lobs at you, and it equips you to strike back. Ephesians 6:10-18 outlines the importance of having this spiritual armor. Your kids will face battles every day, and not just the dreaded biology pop quiz. Kids these days face bullying, ungodly social pressures, brokenness, sin, and exposure to concepts far beyond their spiritual and emotional maturity. Equipping your children with the full Armor of God, mama, protects them in ways that you can’t.
Equip your babies of all ages, from preschool age to college and beyond, with the Belt of Truth. Speak the truth in love to them and over them. Teach them the truth about how God loves them, how they were created for a purpose, beautifully and wonderfully made in His image.
Help tighten the straps on the Breastplate of Righteousness. The breastplate guards their heart, right? Teach your children the importance of living in accordance with God’s Word. Teach them to hide the Word of God in their hearts, so they don’t depart from it when the pressure is on.
And when it seems too much to bear, buckle their Shoes of Peace. This sweet, sweet peace comes from knowing that the Lord our God leads their steps, directs their paths and blesses every step in the peace of knowing the gospel — that Christ died for us, erased our sin, and opened the line of communication uninhibited to the ultimate General and Fighter of our battles.
The final pieces of the armor are the Helmet of Salvation, the Shield of Faith, and the Sword of the Spirit. The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, strikes the enemy and cuts away obstacles. A sword can strike, sure, but a sword also is a tool that can be used to cut away the thorns that obstruct a warrior’s path.
Shields and helmets are designed to absorb the blows that would be fatal, the ones aimed at the most vital organs, right? So the Shield of Faith and the Helmet of Salvation protect your babies by covering their heads and getting out ahead of any offensive strikes. The Shield of Faith needs to be out front, on display, held steady to absorb the blow so the counter-defense can swing that sword. The Helmet of Salvation solidifies that your little warrior knows WHO they are because of WHOSE they are. They know they were bought with a price at the highest ransom. They belong to the Lord, and the Lord fights their battles.
So how do you equip these small, innocent, naive soldiers with this armor?
Teach them the Word of God. Live it out in front of them. Pray, pray, pray. Teach them why it is important to protect their hearts and minds, even if it means distancing themselves from a group or activity. And like any army, big or small, have backup. Surround them with positive influences in a refuge of worship, and be on the front lines with them.
By equipping your kiddos with the Armor of God, you’re equipping them with the ability to fight any battles that come their way — at school and beyond.
Courtney and her husband, Jeremy, live in Brandon and are members at Park Place Baptist Church in Pearl. They have a daughter, Taylor, and a son, Jacob. Courtney is a full-time homemaker and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.