After Danny finished swinging his stick and practicing his catechism, he came inside, ate dinner, and got into his pajamas and brushed his teeth. When he and his sister Becky were ready for bed, their mom gathered them together for devotions before bed.
“Earlier today, Danny and I talked about being God’s warrior.” His mom said as she opened her Bible. “Just like being a warrior takes more than swinging a stick around, so being God’s warrior takes putting on the whole armor that God gives us.”
“We talked about this in school.” Becky held up her fingers. “There’s the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, the helmet of salvation, and the sandals of the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
“Yes, that’s found in the book of Ephesians.” Their mom nodded. “When the apostle Paul wrote about the armor of God to the people living in Ephesus, he was talking about the armor of the Roman soldier. Both he and the Ephesians would have been familiar with Roman soldiers.”
Danny sat up straight. Finally something he did know. “I know about the Romans. They conquered the whole world that everybody knew about, and they had an emperor and big armies.”
“Yes, that’s right, Danny.” His mom smiled at him. “When a Roman soldier put on all of his armor, it weighed about 50 to 60 pounds. It would be tempting to only put on some of the armor to make it easier, just like it is tempting to skip a few pieces of our spiritual armor, but each piece is necessary.”
Danny wrinkled his nose. That Roman armor weighed as much as he did. “That’s a lot of armor.”
“Yes, it was. A Roman soldier had to be dedicated.” His mom put an arm around both of them. “At the time the book of Ephesians was written, a Roman soldier signed up for 25 years at a time, sometimes for even longer. This was at a time when people were only expected to live until they were about 50. During that time, he was encouraged not to marry and not to visit his family. His entire life was dedicated to serving as a soldier.”
“Kind of like how we are supposed to be dedicated to serving God.” Becky said as she leaned against their mom’s shoulder. “It takes up our whole life.”
Questions to think about:
- Read Ephesians 6:10–13, Psalm 119:38, and Matthew 16:24 by yourself or with your parents. What does it mean to dedicate our whole life to following God and being a Christian? How is this like being Roman soldier?
- Do we carry the burden of our spiritual armor in our own strength? Read Matthew 11:28 by yourself or with your parents.