The Armor of God for Women
by Marjanita Geigley
This article first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Daughters of Promise.
Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings has always been one of my favorite characters, the brave shield maiden who straps on her armor and rides forth into battle. But as great and wonderful as that sounds, the average person has not worn armor for roughly five hundred years. So, when the Bible tells us to wear the armor of God it can be a little hard to envision it in a practical way.
A few years ago, my friend and I took a trip to Southeast Asia. The only day that worked to do our sightseeing happened to be rainy and miserable, but we were determined to visit the popular Angkor Wat in Cambodia anyway. I knew I would be walking, traveling, and riding tuk-tuk amidst thunderstorms, so I carefully planned what I would need for my wet adventures. I looked pretty crazy in my conglomeration of rain gear and travel supplies. However, by the time the day was over, I had managed to escape most of the drenching rain, grabbed some great pictures, and made incredible memories. All that stemmed back to the preparations I had made beforehand.
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.” Ephesians refers to having our loins girt about with truth. This means that everything loose has been secured out of our way and tucked into our belts. The belt not only secures, but also provides a place to fasten our weapons. In Cambodia, my backpack was my best travel buddy. Instead of cameras, passports, sweaters, and water bottles dangling from straps around my neck - getting in my way or bulging out of pockets- I secured everything in my backpack. I could also carry maps, medicine, and other essentials which I could not have had with me otherwise. Like that backpack, truth is our secure basis in life. Without a belief in absolute truth and right and wrong, we are not secured or equipped to face the questions and situations which will arise.
“Having on the breastplate of righteousness.” The breastplate was designed to cover and protect the heart and vital organs of a soldier. Without it, a spear or arrow could have easily pierced a warrior and ended his battle. I was quite thankful for my rain jacket during my trip to Angkor Wat, it was poncho-style and covered my backpack and me from neck to knee. When rain hit the jacket, the drops would simply slide off. If I had not been wearing my rain poncho, the drops would have quickly soaked in, left me miserable, and ended my explorations a lot sooner. Christ’s righteousness calls us to a standard of separation from sin. Like my poncho protected me from the rain, our hearts and bodies are protected from the ravages of immorality, addictions, and other sins because we are called to live in righteousness.
“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” Feet took the soldiers into battle. My footwear was vital to my health and happiness on my Cambodian trip. Flip-flops would have slid off my feet, high heels would not have been comfortable or functional for muddy walking, and slippers would have done very little to protect my feet from the sharp stones and mild hiking conditions. Sneakers or enclosed sandals were usually my pick, because they efficiently handled all the above problems. Ministering, reaching out, and living a life of good witness is not an easy path. There will be rocks and mud, but being well-equipped with the Gospel of Peace will help us as we walk beside our hurting neighbors, friends, and family.
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” The shield blocked many blows in warfare. The other armor might manage to keep a soldier alive, but without his shield he would have gotten knocked around. My polka-dotted umbrella protected me from being knocked around by the torrents of rain showers in Cambodia. Although my rain poncho also protected me, without an umbrella I would have been slowed down by the heavy rain pelting against me. There are many ways to know our beliefs are true - which is why I appreciate the study of apologetics- but sometimes we must accept and trust by the shield of faith. To doubt whenever we hear something contrary to Christianity will weaken us and knock us off course.
“And take the helmet of salvation.” The helmet protects the head. On my trip, I wore a big floppy hat that I had purchased at the night market to protect my hair and veiling from the storms’ vehemence, and to keep the rain out of my eyes. In the same protective way, salvation will truly open our eyes so that we can see. It will change our mind and start to rebirth the codes which sin corrupted. Because of this, we can make wise decisions and choices.
“And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Lastly, do not forget your sword! It has been said that all the other pieces of armor are meant for defense, but the sword is meant for offense. Our sword is the Word of God which holds the key to fighting the enemy. For a sword to be powerful, you need to spend time with it and know how to use it properly. It needs to be kept sharp and in good condition.
We should be spending time in the Word, getting to know it inside and out. We should also be memorizing verses and truths, so that we can carry our sword all the time. I did not take my physical Bible on my tour of Angkor Wat, but I was able to carry it with me in my heart and mind. These memorized verses were my sword as I made decisions on right and wrong, evaluated Buddhist statements, and interacted with people of many different beliefs and religions.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” Once we have properly outfitted ourselves, we are told to simply stand strong in God’s power as we fight evil, pray for our Christian brothers and sisters, and wait with confidence. Even though it grows long and dark, our King and His warriors will win the final battle.
Ephesians 6:10-18, King James Version
What is the full armor of God? Retrieved from www.gotquestions.org/full-armor-of-God.html