My two oldest boys get on each other’s nerves something fierce these days. Recently, however, the fights were different. Tensions were high because of a deep mistrust that had burrowed itself into the mind of my eldest. Every word spoken and every action taken by his brother brought him to the brink of a tantrum because he felt like his brother was “out to get” him.
During a particularly hard day when everyone in the family had gotten frustrated with his attitude, he wailed to his dad, “I feel like everyone is against me” and it finally clicked.
My little boy was believing lies.
You see, we have this enemy who wants to devour and destroy anything good in the lives of our boys. He does not want them growing up with a strong bond of brotherly love, and he will do what it takes to tear that bond apart.
Lies were being whispered into the mind of my son: lies about the motivations of his younger brother, lies about the intents of his parents, lies about his own worth. These lies found a fertile breeding place in his unprotected mind, and the insecurity bred there moved down into his heart, turning him into an anxious, hypersensitive, reactive little boy.
His actions stemmed from his heart, which is informed by his thoughts.
It was time for him to learn how to put on his armor.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
My sweet boy needed to learn to put on his helmet of salvation every day to protect his mind from the enemy’s insidious lies.
What does it mean to put on the helmet of salvation?
Essentially, it means to remember the truths of our salvation and allow those truths to work so deeply in our minds that they forge into a protective barrier.
We need to remind our boys continually of their salvation in a way they can understand. As we teach them these truths, we are teaching them to put on their helmet of salvation so that as they grow, they will be equipped for the spiritual battle set before them.
There are 6 primary aspects of salvation that we can teach our boys.
For each aspect, I have described it and given a script to help present it to your son. (For the theological terms and another fun way to present salvation to your son, check out this post!)
1. The helmet of salvation reminds us that we have been called out of a life of sin and shame.
“God calls to you because He wants to save you and heal you. When you believe that to be true, you start your journey as a warrior in His army.”
2. The helmet of salvation reminds us that we have been saved from the penalty of sin.
“When you hurt others or think bad thoughts or have a bad attitude, you are forgiven because Jesus already took the punishment for your sins.”
3. The helmet of salvation reminds us that we have been given a new heart.
“God has already given you a new heart, a soft heart that can hear Him.”
4. The helmet of salvation reminds us that we have been brought into the family of God.
“God has chosen you as His precious son, and nothing you do, or say, or think, or feel, can take that away from you.”
5. The helmet of salvation reminds us that we are participants in God’s work.
“Your thoughts are connected to your heart so when you believe the lies that the enemy has put in your head, they make you feel bad, which makes you act sinfully. When your mind is filled with truth, your heart is full of peace, love, and joy, which will help you treat others lovingly. God wants to transform your thoughts so that they are believing only truth about him. The Holy Spirit does this transformation work in your mind, your job is just to believe that He will and let Him do it! That is what it means to put on the helmet of salvation: remembering that God can protect our minds from the lies the enemy is whispering into our ears.”
6 . The helmet of salvation reminds us that we will one day be with God in glory.
“One day, all the hard things in this world will be gone, and all our pain and sadness will be worth it because we will get to be with God forever. Because we know that God will always win over evil, we know that He can give us victory right now over the lies Satan wants us to believe.”
The helmet of salvation protects him against the lies of the enemy. What I desire for my boy is that God’s truth and a deeper understanding of salvation would drip from his helmet down through his mind and deep into his heart, for when his mind is renewed, he will be transformed to better reflect the glory of God.
For a great resource on the Armor of God for elementary/middle grade boys, check out UNSEEN: The Prince Warriors 365 Devotional by Priscilla Shirer.
Also for elementary-age boys is Priscilla Shirer’s Prince Warriors series. This series is what first piqued my son’s interest in the Armor of God, and reminded me of its importance in our lives!