I often hear mommas say that they wish their kids came with instruction manuals. Well I’m of a mind to think that they do. In our home we believe that the Bible is the ultimate manual for raising our boys. There are so many great examples of how we should train them up in the way they should go. In fact even the parents that weren’t such shining examples show us what not to do.
We are a boy home so when I think about role models for our boys I think about Gideon, Joshua, Daniel, and of course Christ himself. Each of these men faced insurmountable obstacles yet when it came down to it they stood their ground and honored God. What more could we want for our boys?
One of the main focal points in Scripture that we use as a template is found in Ephesians 6:10-18. This is the portion of Scripture that talks about putting on the full armor of God. The irony is not lost on me that this set of instructions is presented by Paul who was never a father himself. But if you remember he had many under his tutelage that he considered to be his sons. (Of course there’s a whole other lesson in that for those that don’t have children of their own.)
Ephesians 6:10- 13 says this:
Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.
Did you hear what Paul was saying? That bully down the street isn’t who you are really fighting (or standing) against. It is the devil and his minions. We believe that teaching our boys this principle allows them to have a better understanding of how we can love our enemies. The attack may appear to be coming from that bully but in all reality that bully is being bullied by the ultimate bully.
Paul then goes on in verses 14-17 to describe each piece of armor that we should put on.
Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.
What an amazingly powerful picture that portrays. Each of those pieces of armor will prepare our boys to become strong and courageous. I think it is important that we help our boys have strong bodies but the strength that is most important isn’t physical. The strength described above comes solely from the Lord. Isn’t it interesting that five of the components of the armor are defensive or protective. The one element that is offensive is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, or the Bible. You can never pour too much Scripture into your children!
Paul ends the passage by encouraging us to pray.
Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.
This portion points to the fact that we are totally dependent on God. The situations going on around our boys may not make a bit of sense to them or to us. But not one part of it is a surprise to God. When we reinforce that principle it provides a protective safety net that lasts long after they have departed our home.
I encourage you to help your boys become strong and courageous by putting on the full armor of God. Tommy Nelson has a great book by Sheila Walsh called God’s Mighty Warrior Devotional Bible. It walks boys through the Bible and teaches them the important principles of putting on the full armor of God and becoming strong and courageous warriors for the Lord. Get it and spend some time equipping your guys with the necessary outfit to becoming men.