“There are really two major obstacles all parents face in teaching their children to obey: not only is the world they live in corrupt, but they themselves are sinful creatures too. They face a difficult struggle both inside and outside.”-John MacArthur
I used to love to ride my bike when I was a kid. In those days, we never wore protective gear such as helmets or knee pads. Today, we equip our children with knee and elbow pads, helmets, and gloves to ride their bikes to protect them from falls. We go to great lengths to protect children against physical injuries, but do we take any precautions to protect them spiritually?
When our children are little, it is important to teach them Biblical principles such as to be kind to one another and to teach them the importance of sharing. As our kids begin to grow, we need to develop a more detailed spiritual plan that will equip them to face the battles on the outside that Paul described in 2 Corinthians 7:5. A great detailed battle plan is found in Ephesians 6:11-18:
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
The concept of daily putting on the armor of God is one of the most important Biblical principles we can teach our children. If they are to be victorious in their Christian life, putting on the armor of God daily will be essential. From this passage, what are we to teach our children:
- Their battle is not with people. It may seem like it at times. However, I wanted to teach my kids to love others and recognize that problems and disputes occur between people but learn not to take things out on people we are upset with. I want them to be quick to forgive and ask for forgiveness.
- I want them prepared through a study of God’s Word how to use the Bible as their sword to deal with the conflicts, disputes, and problems that come their way. Knowing God’s Word and hiding it in their heart will provide them with the tools necessary for the battle.
- I want them to own their faith boldly as their helmet of protection. Knowing that they are a child of the King will provide them much needed security for the battle.
- I want to teach them to walk in the Spirit as Colossians tells us so that they can wear the body armor of God’s righteousness.
- I want to teach them to be filled with the Spirit so that they will readily share the Good News, sense the peace of God, and know the comfort of truth.
Parents, prepare your children for the battles of life with teaching them the principle of putting on the armor of God.