As promised in our post from earlier this week, we’re going to share ideas for teaching each piece of the Armor of God in a fun and interactive way that will help your child really grasp the lesson.
Most Armor of God lessons begin with the helmet because it’s at the top of the body, and then work their way down. I suggest starting with the Belt of Truth. This is the piece of armor that is the foundation for all the other pieces. The truth of God’s Word is our greatest defense and it’s what makes all the other pieces of armor available to us.
Have your child put on a pair of your pants (or pants several sizes to big). Instruct them to run from one point to the next as fast as they can, while trying to keep their pants up. It will undoubtedly be difficult, and the pants may slip down and cause them to stumble. Then, secure the pants with a belt (or anything that can tie around their waist) and have them run the same distance. Then ask them to explain the differences between the two runs (i.e. with and without a belt). Share how wearing a secure belt is a lot like putting on the Belt of Truth. Without it, our minds begin to “stumble”, and it becomes so much more difficult to live our lives the way God intended. The Belt of Truth (the truth of God’s word) is what “holds our minds together” and keeps us from believing everything the world tells us.
Just as real helmets protect our heads from injuries, the Helmet of Salvation protects our minds from the enemy’s lies. Knowing Jesus and believing that He died for our sins is our protection against the enemy’s lie that we’ll never measure up.
Create the visual of the Helmet of Salvation protecting the mind. Have your child put on a pair of headphones and play a song. My children really love Warrior by Hannah Kerr right now. This is a great song that ties in nicely with the armor theme. Turn the music up loud enough that they can’t make out what you’re saying to them (but not loud enough to hurt their ears) and try to get them to figure out what you’re saying without taking off the headphones. You can then explain that this is how they can use the Helmet of Salvation – to keep so focused on what Jesus did for us on the cross that that the enemy’s lies end up sounding like muffled nonsense, completely drowned out by the voice of Jesus telling us that we are His.
The Shield of Faith is what protects us when we begin to doubt God’s promises. The enemy loves to use our weaknesses and struggles to cause us to doubt whether God really loves and cares about us. All the enemy needs to do is sow a seed of doubt, and if we aren’t protected by faith, our human emotions can quickly turn that doubt into despair.
A shield is a unique piece of armor because it can be moved to cover up the weak places in the rest of the armor. It can be used to protect the body before the attack strikes. To help your children understand how this Shield of Faith protects us from doubting God, work with them to construct a “pretend shield” out of cardboard. (Or you can simply use a pillow or another large object that they can hold in front of them). Have them make a list of things that have caused them to doubt God in the past, or areas of weakness. Then have them write each doubt or weakness on its own separate piece of paper. When their shield is ready and in position, crumple up each piece of paper, toss it at them, and have them deflect each lie with their “shield”. Remind them that their faith works the same way when the enemy fires darts of doubts at us, attempting to make us question God.
Just like a breastplate on a suit of armor protects the heart, the Breastplate of Righteousness protects our heart for God. Being righteous means being right with God through our faith in Jesus. As Christ transforms us from within, His righteousness manifests in humility, kindness, goodness and honesty. God declares us righteous when we turn to Christ and away from sin. Our Breastplate of Righteousness helps us maintain a pure heart and the enemy fears those who have a heart for Jesus and desire to do what’s right (even when they make mistakes).
Using cardboard or construction paper, have your children construct their own Breastplate of Righteousness. Help them make a list of things that help protect their hearts (prayer, asking forgiveness from sin, etc.) and write those on their armor. Then do some role playing. Ask them what “heart protection” they would use in different scenarios. An example might be: “What heart protection would you use if someone asked you to lie?”
The Sword of the Spirit is the one piece of armor that is used for offense instead of defense. This “sword” is the Bible. God has given us all we need to know to live a life for Him through His Word. We can use the Word of God to cut through the lies that the enemy wants us to believe about the world and ourselves. This sword can stop an attack in its tracks before it ever gets to the rest of our armor.
Use a pair of scissors as a “pretend sword” with your children. You can fasten a piece of paper to it that says The Word of God or have them pick a Bible verse that reminds them of God’s protection.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Take several brown-paper lunch bags and write a lie the enemy would have us believe on the outside (example: “God doesn’t love us”) and inside the bag, put a piece of paper with the truth about that lie written on it. Have them use the sword (scissors) to cut through the lie and reveal the truth.
When we put on our Sandals of the Gospel of Peace we are reminding ourselves that Jesus came and died on the cross for our sins, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven. This means that if we believe in Jesus Christ and ask Him to forgive us of our sins, we can live a peaceful life without worry, even when bad things happen. We can live worry free because we know that we have a place in Heaven, and while we are here on Earth, God will protect us. One of the most sinister attacks of the enemy is stirring up worry, anxiousness and discontentment. We often get worked up about things that really aren’t important. But the more we worry, the more we try to take matters in our own hands, rather than relying on God. With the Sandals of the Gospel of Peace, we can experience His peace and contentment.
To be able to run, jump, or even stand properly, we need the right shoes. When we’re equipped with our Sandals of the Gospel of Peace, we’re ready to take a stand for what we know is true, and ready to flee from the things we know will lead us farther away from God. Have your children put on a pair of your shoes, or even a pair of their younger/smaller sibling’s shoes. Have them try to walk around, skip, or even jump in them. Then ask them to explain the differences between wearing their own shoes, and ones that aren’t the right size. Use this illustration to point out that when we’re wearing the Sandals of the Gospel of Peace, we’re wearing perfectly fit shoes provided by God – shoes that allow us to quickly flee from the enemy’s attacks.
We would love to hear your creative ideas for teaching your own children about the Armor of God, or their reactions to some of the lessons we’ve suggested. Leave us a comment below!
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