Walking onto a battlefield with no weapon is suicidal.
Having a weapon you don't know how to handle and utilize is almost as foolish.
From the time our kids were swaddled bundles in our arms we've fed scripture into their hearts.
As they've gotten older and started hiding God's word in their own hearts we've begun discipling them on how to use it. We call these memorized verses "swords" because well, they are.
Ephesian 6:10-17 lays out a clear battle plan including preparation, training, enemy identification, attack plan, and strategy. Notice there is no wording for a potential attacks, retreats or an exit strategy. There will be attacks, there will be battles, and you will fail on your own.
Preparing our kids to recognize the enemy, develop hearts of discernment, and utilize the armor and weapons God has given them is a crucial aspect of Godly parenting. Without their foundations being embedded in the word of God we are essentially sending our kids onto a battlefield empty-handed.
Our memorized "swords" aren't collected and laid aside either. We practice with them daily. If you want to become completely comfortable with using a weapon and a master of it's use, you have to practice with it and use. We challenge each other in recalling the best sword to match a situation we may be facing, wether serious or light. For example, If one of the boys is awake with bad dreams we choose which swords in our arsenal would be best to fight with and we recite them together, slashing away at any "ruler, authorities, or powers of this dark world." v12.
We use our swords to fight anger, temptation, selfishness, jealousy, bitterness, discontentment, greed, etc.
Our kids have become completely comfortable in handling their weapons. They are proficient in knowing not only when but how to use them. They know on whose strength and power they fight for and who they are fighting against. This essential foundation has aided their maturity and discernment with heavier topics like strangers and predators. I will be posting on how we introduced and continue to train the boys in awareness of some of these heavier parts of our world.
Below is a list a of some of our "swords" each of the boys has memorized and knows how to recall and use, to stand firm. It's not a comprehensive list but it's a great launching point. We are continually adding to our swords. It's important for us the kids understand the words they are reciting so we take our time studying it and applying it so it is hidden in their hearts with absolute truth and understanding, being a more effective weapon in their hands.