Monday, April 9, 2012

Armor of God Lessons with my Kids

I have to plan things for my kids to do when they have a break from school, or I hear "I'm BORED" over and over.  So this Spring Break, we talked about the armor of God.

The armor of God passage is found in Ephesians 6:10-17.  (You can look it up on YouVersion.)  Each day we talked about a different piece of armor, what it means, what Satan's strategy to defeat it is, and what we can do to "put on" that piece of armor.

Belt of Truth:
We talked about how Jesus IS truth and God's Word is where we can find absolute truth.  Satan's strategy is to use lies to confuse and deceive us.  The way we put on the belt of truth is to know God's word so we can tell if what we are hearing is the truth or a lie.  We have to renew our minds so we can think like God does.  The verse we memorized was Romans 12:2a "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

For an activity, each kid found a belt and hung some "supplies" on it that a soldier (or secret agent) might use.

Breastplate of Righteousness:
We talked about how the breastplate guards the heart and how we desire to have a righteous heart instead of a sinful heart.  Satan's strategy is to make us apathetic to sin.  So to put this armor on, we need to take sin seriously and see it as God does.  We memorized Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a pure heart, o God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

For an activity, I dared them to put on the plastic toy breastplate we have and put a water balloon behind the breastplate.  The water balloon symbolized their heart.  Would the plastic breastplate protect that heart if they were punched?  Both boys were eager to take the dare, but it was cold and rainy, so we'll have to do it another day.  (I had a different idea for an activity, to make t-shirts, either tie dye or freezer paper stencil, or iron-ons or something, but we went to the zoo the day we learned about the breastplate, so we didn't have time to make t-shirts.)

Shoes of the Gospel of Peace:
The peace of God comes from the gospel - our salvation and identity are secure - so we can be ready for what life throws at us.  Satan's strategy is to use worry, doubt, and fear to paralyze us.  To put on this armor is to reaffirm our identity in Christ and remember that we are adopted children of the King.  We read Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

For an activity, I bought them cheap pairs of canvas shoes and allowed them to decorate them with Sharpies or fabric markers.  (Another idea would be to make stilts out of coffee cans as seen in Family Fun.)

Shield of Faith:
We talked about how walking in faith and obedience go hand in hand. (Phil Joel has a great song for kids called "When I Obey" that talks about faith and obedience.)  Satan's strategy is to make us disobey God which makes us even more vulnerable to his attacks.  To put on the shield of faith, we need to live according to God's rules and He empowers us to do it.  We memorized Hebrews 11:6a "Without faith it is impossible to please God."

We didn't do an activity for this one, but I planned to let them make and decorate their own shields out of cardboard.

Helmet of Salvation:
We talked about how our salvation is secure; you can't lose it.  Satan's strategy is to make us doubt our salvation or argue about the doctrine of salvation.  To put on the helmet of salvation is to know how to be saved and to share that with others.  We read Isaiah 12:2 "Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation."

For an activity, I gave each kid a white baseball hat from the craft store to decorate with fabric markers.

Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God:
Jesus resisted the devil's temptations by quoting scripture.  We also need to be ready to face temptations or questions and know what we believe by studying the Word of God.  We read 1 Peter 3:15a "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."

They liked this activity.  We cut a pool noodle in half and they wrapped duct tape around one end to make a handle, and it became a sword.

This particular passage in the Bible really appeals to boys and I think they might have even learned something over Spring Break!

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