Suddenly, when I had my fifth child, I became an expert in other people’s eyes.
Everywhere I go, without fail, when I say I have five children, some one will say, “How do you do it?”
No-one said that before, they’d say, “Oh God 4!” or “Wow, you must be exhausted.”
But no-one ever got the same genuine look in their eyes that they do now. It is an, “I really want to know how you do it, because I don’t believe I could do it myself,” kind of look.
So I tell them; With God.
“With God,” is my answer. I do marriage, I do kids, I do work with God. He is in all of it. Everything is His.
Without him I couldn’t do it either.
How can I, with five children, a husband and our own business, possibly be faithful, peaceful, loving , patient, kind, good, gentle, self-controlled, and joyful without God’s Spirit at work in me?
How can I persevere, when I am not any of the above, without repentance and obedience? I couldn’t, unless I remember that I am dearly loved and fully known by the God who calls me to follow him.
How can I persevere when others around me are not any of the above without forgiveness? How can I forgive unless I am forgiven?
Today I want to talk about Ephesians 5 and 6. Two beautiful chunks of scripture. Read them, learn them, live them.
If you can, go away and read them fully right now. It will bring more depth to this post. In fact, if you’re short on time, you can skip the chapter and just read the Scripture it’s better for you. God’s words are transforming, mine are just descriptive.
The basic plot of chapter 5 is “submit to each other out of reverence for Christ.” It’s the big “Why?” for any married couple. My motivation for loving my family is my reverence for Christ.
Chapter 6 is the bones of how to do it!
The basic plot of chapter 6 is ‘Put on the armour of God’ and ‘Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests’.
How do we do it? How do we do sex, marriage and family?
We remember who the war is against.
Ephesians 6:12 says,
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power’s of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore take up the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground and having done everything, to stand.
The fight in our family is never against each other. (Although it may look that way)
How can we survive the war?
With protection that God provides.
- Helmet of salvation – We keep salvation foremost in our minds. (I am only here because God loved me, rescued me and brought me here.)
- Breastplate of righteousness – We allow God’s righteousness to cover our own sinful heart, keep us pure, deflect temptation going out, and attack by the enemy on our vital organs (a.k.a my Spirit) from coming in.
- Belt of truth – We keep it together with the truth of God (not letting my opinions or other people’s blow things out of proportion) the belt holds the breastplate in place!
- Sword of the Spirit – The only weapon we use in the home is the Spirit of the Lord, that’s the light of Jesus, the word of God (who is actually on all our sides) that can cut through bone and marrow.
- Shield of Faith – We shield ourselves and our family with faith, (Which we express through love), believing God has got us covered and is making a way (even when we are crouched down low in the middle of battle and cannot see beyond the shield.)
- Feet fitted with the gospel of peace – Everywhere we walk together with our family, whether we’re in our formal shoes or slippers or our bare feet we bring peace. We ‘walk out the gospel’ by trusting fully in the Lord, acknowledging him as head of our households and this brings peace to our hearts and our homes as he makes our paths straight. The path may be straight up a mountain but we have peace because he is making the way.
There you go. Simple! Ha Ha HA.
But that is why it says ‘take up’ or ‘put on’ the Armor of God. Every day, on this earth,
on it goes. THIS IS WAR BABY!
And then we pray.
We pray to God my Commander. We check in.
If we are truly battle ready, we pray long before any battles. We’re in the war room with all it’s maps helping make the battle plans. We know his tactics and we follow his plans.
Before we engage any enemy we listen to the Commander’s motivational speech and we get last minute handouts of His secret weapons, specific to our situation.
If we’re always alert we pray constantly. Sometimes the battle plan will change mid-fight and we need to have the COMS guy alert in our spirit.
Sometimes things go wrong and the COMS guy gets shot. Then we can’t pray until we’ve dragged him, under fire, to the safety of a random farmhouse in the middle of nowhere and we have enough peace to fix the COMS and patch up the COMS guy and get word to the Commander to GET US OUT OF THERE.
Sometimes we completely miss the battle plan, we enter the battle completely unprepared, we only make it because of the groundwork the Commander did before we arrived and we don’t even pray until the final hour but then we pray, pray, pray!!
We pray because armour or no armour we need God. The armour is Him. Without Him we might as well be naked.
So we pray, we invite the commander to lead his army.
And we rejoice with Him before, during and after any battle.
Our God is the God of the Angel Armies. And the war cry of the Angel Armies is “Rejoice!”. It is God’s anthem.
We give thanks, we praise, we sing. Even when it looks like we might be losing the battle.
We take heart because he has won the war.
I you have kids and want to explore the armour of God with them, you might like my poem Luca the Light Ranger – from this post.
Be blessed, be encouraged, God is on your side, he has a way for you to go and a why for you to persevere today.
If you like this post join the conversation in the comments, like or share on social media or re-blog on your site, just let me know.
Lots of love,