This is the fourth post in a series about Families and the armor of God. What does it look like when we commit to taking Paul’s advice about the armor of God in our roles as wives and moms? Or as husbands and fathers? Well, I’ve talked a little bit about what it looks like when we wear the Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness. This week, I’m going to talk about wearing Shoes of Peace.
If you would like to follow this series from the beginning, my first post about families and spiritual warfare is a great place to start!
The Moments that Make a Family
Nine years ago, I stood at the altar with my soon to be husband as we started the journey of building a family together. We gazed at each other nervously, with stars in our eyes and butterflies in our stomachs, promising to have and to hold one another, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death would do us part. Though we weren’t certain what he future would look like, we were certain that we meant every word.
Two years later, we gazed into the perfect, big, blue eyes of our first born son, and promised him that we would love him, take care of him, and always be there for him, no matter what could ever happen. We were certain that our hearts would burst with the love we felt for him.
Repeat this moment two more times, once for our younger son and once for our daughter, and you have a picture of our family as it looks today.
After nine years, our home has seen its fill of tenderness and giggles and sacrifice and love. All the good things we imagined as we looked into one another’s eyes making our promises years ago.
The moments where we need His peace
But in between those moments are the times where life gets real and ugly and hard. Times where we experience job losses and injuries and sickness that make us question if he is really there. And when ugly and terrible attitudes remind us of how God is still growing us to be more like Him. Little souls that are trusting us to teach them to follow Christ, that stretch every fiber of energy and patience and wisdom that we have until we think we are about to snap. And sometimes we do. Sometimes our circumstances cause us to snap and we end up broken and bitter, or aching with regret after hurting the ones we promised to care for forever.
And even though marriage and parenthood don’t always look beautiful like we imagined, we are still called to walk together. Husbands are called to love and teach, wives to submit and serve, children to obey and learn. Because our God is all knowing. He knew that putting sinners together in such an intimate relationship would be like refining metal. He knew that it would feel as if we’ve been thrown into a fire so that every flaw could be hammered out of us until our souls are pure and holy like Him.
And He knew that it would be hard, because during the spiritual fires in our lives the enemy would tempt us, curse us, manipulate us and scare us into abandoning our faith, and giving up on our relationships.
So our Father gave us this armor
When Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, he advised them to dress in spiritual armor, as if they were roman soldiers going to war. Among several other pieces of armor, he told them to wear shoes of peace. Actually, what he really said was:
“And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” (Eph. 6:15)
During ancient warfare, armies would bury spikes of metal in the ground, so that if anyone without proper shoes stepped on these ancient land mines, they would be disabled. Not only did the roman soldier wear a sandal to protect his feet, his sandals had spikes of their own, to keep their feet steady so they wouldn’t slip.
When the Battle is at Home
When we are facing wars within the walls of our homes, and the enemy tries to destroy our foundation in Christ with his spiritual landmines, we need to make sure we are wearing proper shoes. We need shoes that give us the readiness we need in order not to lose our footing. The readiness found in the Gospel, that gives us peace so that we will not run away, give up or be destroyed as we fight for our families.
This readiness is what reminds us, when we feel broken and betrayed, that “In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which he lavished on us, in all wisdom and insight.” (Eph. 1:7-8) It’s what gives us the strength and courage to extend the same kind of forgiveness to those who’ve hurt us.
The readiness which assures us that no matter how ugly or dark our circumstances become, He is there. “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:12-13)
And this assurance from knowing His Gospel that He will give you everything you need to be the husband, wife, or parent your family needs you to be, if you commit to knowing His word and following Him. Because this is what He has called you to, and “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 1:6)
So, how do we do it? How do we put on, like shoes, the readiness of the Gospel of Peace?
How to wear shoes of peace
We endure our trials with thanksgiving and prayer. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)
We defeat bitterness by focusing on the right things. “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil 4:8-9)
And we remember the eternal work that He is doing in us and in our loved ones is so much bigger than the pain or suffering we are experiencing now. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials ofvarious kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
Have you faced any circumstances in your home that tested your faith or caused broken relationships within your family? Were you able to walk in the assurance of the Gospel of Peace, and overcome the hardship you faced? Please share in the comments!
If not, I encourage you to seek assurance from the Word of God. If you need help, feel free to send me a message so I can encourage and pray for you.
More about Spiritual Warfare
For the rest of this series on Spiritual Warfare and the Family, go to:
If you are interested in learning more about fighting spiritual warfare in your personal life, I highly recommend reading Victory In Spiritual Warfare: Outfitting Yourself for the Battle by Tony Evans. (affiliate link)