Monday, September 12, 2011

Get Your Armor On

Oh that dreaded hour on school mornings…  you know what I’m talking about.  The hour between rubbing sleep from eyes to catching the bus and all that has to transpire in between.  Breakfast, shower, get dressed, brush teeth, clean up room, Bible reading, make lunch, put shoes on and get out the door.  All this with a happy heart too?

I give our family a minimum of two weeks to adjust to a new schedule, especially transitioning from laid-back summer to super-structured fall.  There is nothing worse than putting one of my kids on the bus knowing one of us is irritated with the other.  It’s an awful way to start an already full day and it’s more prone to happen in these first two weeks.

This morning stretched my patience.  One of my kids was hyper sensitive, easily angered, and a general pain to be around.  I wanted to whop her upside the head to snap her out of her foul mood but instead offered to make her lunch, a task the kids are typically responsible for.  It didn’t help.  She continued to alternately stomp and mope around the house spreading her bad attitude to everyone and the time was ticking down to head to the bus. 

I was puttering and praying when I remembered the family crest.  DUH!  Last spring, Sarah moved in with us and our family promptly adopted her even though she has a perfectly normal and loving family of her own.  (We may never let her move out.)  One benefit of having Sarah live with us is getting to know her Godly, kind and wise parents, Scott and Nancy.  When they visited recently we confessed our continual failure to implement consistent family devotions and grilled them on how they accomplished this with their kids.  They brought us to Ephesians chapter 6 and suggested we get our armor on.

In Ephesians 6, Paul writes about getting dressed for battle but the war he’s fighting is a spiritual one, not a physical one.  This war is God’s kingdom battling the very real kingdom of darkness led by Satan and his demons.  He says in verse 11, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”  Just as a solider wouldn’t dream of heading into battle without proper gear, so we shouldn’t head out into battle without our proper gear.  In this case, we put on the:
  • Belt of TRUTH
  • Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS
  • Sandals of PEACE
  • Shield of FAITH
  • Helmet of SALVATION
  • Sword of the Spirit – WORD OF GOD.
Scott is a graphic designer so after our conversation he designed a Stilp Family Crest and mailed it to us.  It incorporated all the pieces of the armor and representation for each of our family members.  We thought it was so cool that we framed it with a picture of our family and put it on our dining room table.
Stilp Family Crest

I grabbed the family crest and called the kids together for a quick family huddle.  I reminded them that we all (me included) needed to get our armor on before heading out into the day.  We took turns reading pieces of the armor and then pretending to put them on.  Even Miss Sourpants got into it and before we were done, she was giggling.  Once we had our armor on, we prayed together.  I made sure to pray specifically for my daughter who was struggling, give her some extra love, and we walked hand in hand to the bus stop.  It was a beautiful transformation.

I hope our family makes this a daily habit. What about you?  Did you get your armor on?   

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