"Mom," Silas said last week when he came home from school, "there is a mean kid in my class, and I'm trying to hold up my shield of faith but he sure is a good shot."
What a simple reminder to make sure I put on my own armor every day. After all, if my seven-year-old second grader can have the presence of mind to be thinking in the spirit realm when someone is unkind, so should I.
"Put on the whole armor of God," the apostle Paul admonishes in Ephesians chapter 6, "that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." He goes on to say that the real battle isn't with people; we are really fighting against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.
There's a list to make a mother worry.
But, thank the Lord, there is more. The good news is he spends the next four verses on another list; a specific list of the armor with which God equips us to fight the battle:
Pray, watch, persevere, Paul concludes. Sounds like a battle to me.
"It worked!" Silas told his dad the next day as he bursts through the door. "I held up my shield of faith and it worked!" At first he ignored the kid, he said; now they are friends.
The mama bear in me wants to fight his battles for him-- call the teacher, call the mother, call the kid. But I know my bigger job is usually to step out of the way and allow God to build those spiritual muscles. After all, this is just practice for life's bigger battles. Today it's the kid on the playground, tomorrow it will be the coworker at the office.
All this talk of spiritual warfare last week made me realize that I too often fail to remind my kids before they head out the door: Put on your armor--all of it.
Because just like Silas so articulately said, there is always somebody, somewhere who is a good shot.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil."
Ephesians 6: 10-11