On Fridays, I attempt to plan a simple object lesson to go along with Bible study. Since we have been studying knights of the Middle Ages lately, I thought a lesson on the Armor of God made a nice tie-in.
The lesson is quick, but powerful.
- two oranges
- a glass bowl large enough for two oranges to be completely submerged
Read Ephesians 6:10-17
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 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.
Talk about what each piece of armor stands for and how it helps us stand against the devil.
Ask your children to pretend to put on each piece of armor as you discuss how that particular piece might help them throughout their day.
Place both oranges in the bowl with their “armor” on. (In other words, keep the skin on both oranges.) Talk about how the oranges are floating, or “standing firm” in the water.
Little by little, begin peeling away some of the “armor” (skin) of one of the oranges. You might peel off a chunk and say something like, “Uh oh, this orange forgot to put on his belt of truth. When someone says something ugly about him today, he might believe it. If he believes that lie, instead of the truth that he’s wonderfully made, he might not stand as firm in the water.” Place the orange back in the water and notice that, although it doesn’t sink completely, it begins dipping further in the water than the orange still wearing all its armor.
Continue on this way, peeling back a little at a time, talking about a new piece of armor the orange forgot to put on, talking about how that might affect his day, and then placing the orange in the water to see it sink more and more each time.
By the time you remove all of the armor, the orange will completely sink. It is not able to “stand” at all.
Challenge your children to think purposefully each day about putting on each piece of armor. Maybe you could even pretend to put on each piece together every morning. When I purposefully try to put on my own armor, I know I’m able to stand more firmly against the devil’s wily schemes. I bet kids can, too!