Teaching Kids to Be Strong – Part 2

woman in blue denim shorts and white nike sneakers sitting on floor
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Let’s help our kids (and ourselves) learn more about being strong by studying the various parts of the armor.

BELT OF TRUTH

What it looked like: The belt was six inches thick and could carry weapons and equipment, Long leather strips hung from the belt. These strips were decorated with metal. The metal strips were used for protection and to clank as the soldier walked,  intimidating the enemy.

What it does: The belt went around the loins (a word which will sound funny to your kids.)  Explain that loins means hips or lower back. (Think about what workers wear in big box stores.) The belt also gave the soldiers freedom because they could tuck their tunics inside of it and be able to have more mobility.

How it helps in a chaotic world: If we know the truth than no one convince us that what we believe is wrong ,,, that God’s Word is the truth.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)


BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

What it looked like:  To picture the breastplate the Roman soldier would wear, think about the bulletproof vest a cop wears today. Soldiers high in command would wear armor made out of gold, silver or brass, They would buy their equipment from the army or privately have someone decorate it.  A good set lasted a lifetime and could be passed to other generations. A soldier never went into the army without his breastplate attached to the all  important belt.

What it does:  The breastplate covered the vital organs of the heart, lungs and stomach.

How it helps in a chaotic world: On our on we have no righteousness to help us through life. (Righteousness is perfect goodness) But God, simply because He loves us, sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to die for us. At the moment we trusted Christ as Savior righteousness was imputed (credited) to our account. God didn’t give it to us out of duty or because we deserve it He did it because of love,  Nothing we can do can take it away.

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

THE SHOES OF PEACE

What they looked like: The shoes of the soldier’s uniform actually looked more kike sandals than heavy combat boots. the straps of the sandals fastened around the ankles of the soldier. the bottom of the sandals were studded with metal spikes (sort of Iike the cleats on some sports’ shoes.)

What it does: During battle, the sandals gave the soldier both stability (what the soldier needed to stand still) and mobility (what the soldier needed to move.)

How they help in a chaotic world: When we trust Christ as Savior, we immediately received the peace of God. That peace is the peace that comes from knowing our sins are forgiven, that we are now a new creation and we have eternal life. But God’s peace goes even farther than that. We need to put on the peace in the middle of a chaotic world. nobody can take it away. God established it. Nothing can touch it.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)

THE SHIELD OF FAITH

What it looked like: Even though the Roman soldier was covered in armor, he still needed the shield for full protection. The shield was usually about four feet by two feet, big enough to cover the entire body of a soldier. Usually the Roman shield was larger than the shields of the enemies and that helped them win battles.

What it does: The soldier put the shield in front of him and then knelt down behind it creating a wall of protection. The solder would then interlock his shield with the shields of the other soldiers, creating an even bigger wall. The shield protected against the fiery darts. The darts were made of cane and had a flammable head (often dipped in pitch). Often the shields were “anointed” which means they were soaked in water to put out the flame when they hit the shield. So the shield didn’t just stop the darts, it quenched them.

How it helps in a chaotic world: We need to be in the Word of God. We need to read the instructions – otherwise how can we use the shield of faith? God’s Word helps us stay away from the fiery darts. God’s Word helps us quench the fiery darts when they do hit.

 What it looked like: We know the purpose of a helmet and the Romans needed helmets for the same reasons we do – to protect their heads. Their helmets were made out of leather, brass, bronze, or iron. They covered the soldiers’ head to protect them from wounds that would kill them. No sword could pierce the helmet. The helmet was shaped sort of like a baseball helmet worn backwards. The helmet is dome-shaped with a broad, flat peak (or bill) which covered and protected the back of the neck. Two hinged pieces covered the ears and tied under the soldier’s chin.

What it does: The helmet is designated as the helmet of salvation, Paul writes that the Christian is to TAKE the helmet. The word TAKE in this verses means to receive. Salvation is a free gift which we need to TAKE from the Lord.

How it helps in a chaotic world: The helmet of salvation protects our minds. We need to reflect our relationship with Christ through our thoughts. We need to make the choice to think about good positive things rather than bad negative things,

Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)

THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT

What it looked like: The sword is different from any of the other pieces of equipment because it is the only piece used defensively. A solder could fight without his shoes, his shield, or his helmet, bu he would be totally lost without his sword. The Roman’s sword was called a gladius. It was 20-24 inches long with a heavy, sharply-pointed blade, made of iron, about two inches wide and sharpened on both edges (double-edged). Handles were made from wood, bone ivory or metal.

What it does: The Greek word for WORD does not mean the Bible in general, but specific parts of the Bible. In order to USE the Bible, you must KNOW what the Bible says. to KNOW what the Bible says, you must STUDY and MEMORIZE the Bible. Of course, you can’t memorize the entire Bible, but you can memorize verses that help you in your daily life.

How it helps us in a chaotic world: Memorizing Scripture is the best way to guard against Satan’s attacks. You know memorizing is important. Imagine a soldier who owns the best sword ever and he uses it … on Sundays. The other days of the week it’s under his bed. How often do they pick up their swords? God provides the sword for us. How often do we use it?

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

We need to teach our kids to stand strong, We need to teach them that God provides the needed armor. They need to put it to use.

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