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Op-Ed

Fathers Prepared for Battle: Leading with the Armor of God

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As Father’s Day approaches, it’s time for men to heed the divine call to lead their homes with strength, integrity and love. Fatherless homes have become all too common — sadly, we live in a nation where the majority of households are without a father or male role model of any kind. Therefore, the need for strong, principled father figures has never been more urgent.

The fatherlessness epidemic plaguing our society has far-reaching consequences, contributing to many societal ills. From poverty and crime to mental health issues and substance abuse, the absence of fathers leaves a void that cannot be filled by any other institution.

Fatherhood transcends merely passing on physical traits, talents or career paths to your children; it’s about embodying the qualities of pastor, provider and protector essential to shape the character, values and destiny of your children. Just as a soldier equips themselves with physical armor to face battles, fathers must put on the spiritual armor of God to raise God-fearing, healthy families that will shape the future and the Kingdom of Heaven.

Ready for Battle

Imagine a soldier stepping onto the battlefield without armor. Defenseless and vulnerable, they would face imminent danger. In the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul uses the analogy of armor to illustrate how Christians can build a robust spiritual defense against secular influences and the schemes of the devil.

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“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)

The imagery of putting on the “full armor of God,” holds great significance in understanding the responsibilities of fatherhood.

The Belt of Truth

In Ephesians 6:14, Paul begins to unveil this powerful metaphor, telling us to “ Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth.” Just as a belt is worn close to the body, the “belt of truth” represents integrity, reliance on God’s Word and protection against deception. Fathers who embrace this illustration can lead their families with strong character and equip them to stand firm in the truth. Without truth, we’re vulnerable to the schemes of the devil. Fathers should pray for wisdom to discern truth from falsehood and guide their families accordingly.

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The Breastplate of Righteousness

In the same verse, Paul tells us to “put on the breastplate of righteousness.” A breastplate is designed to protect the heart, lungs and other vital organs in the chest. However, Paul is referring to the condition of our heart. To live righteously, our thoughts and actions must be grounded in God’s standard of righteousness, not our own. Seeking to live by the Lord’s example will influence how we think, how we treat others and how we respond to situations and temptations.

The Shoes of Peace

In verse 15, Paul tells us to fit our feet, putting “on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” Historically, Roman battle shoes had spiked or textured soles that allowed the soldiers to comfortably travel on foot for several miles over rough terrain. Furthermore, the spikes enabled them to trample on their fallen enemy. Like this Roman footwear, the “gospel of peace” protects us on the spiritual battlefield.

Peace helps us to stay grounded, and simultaneously stand our ground. The devil will hurl challenges at us. Feuds with loved ones, job insecurity, betrayals or any other circumstance can threaten to sabotage our strength and rob us of our peace. We can advance onto the battlefield unafraid because we have the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. No matter what schemes the enemy throws at us, amidst the conflict and chaos, we know God has everything under control.

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The Shield of Faith

Paul then tells us, “ In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” At this time in history, armies added fire to their arrows to trigger more damage when attacking their enemies. The Romans designed their shields to withstand these flames. Similarly, our faith in God shields us from the fiery attacks of the devil. The deeper we trust and abide in the Lord, the stronger our faith grows.

The Helmet of Salvation 

Finally, in verses 17-18, we’re told to “take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” In battle, a soldier’s most vulnerable body part is his head. A Roman soldier’s helmet covered his whole head, face and between the eyes. Without it, one blow to the head could be fatal. Paul refers to the helmet of salvation as a reminder to guard our minds against the onslaught of worldly influences and temptations. Fathers have a sacred duty to protect their families from spiritual harm, guiding them towards the path of salvation and eternal life.

The Sword of the Spirit

The sword of the Spirit represents the Word of God, which is the best way fathers can equip themselves for spiritual attacks against their families. When a father immerses himself in the Scriptures, he’s able to impart biblical truths to his family, empowering them to discern right from wrong and to stand firm against the enemy.

Pastors, Providers and Protectors

In a world marred by broken families and fatherless homes, the role of the father as the pastor, provider and protector is more critical than ever. To my fellow fathers, I urge you to embrace the divine call to lead. Step into your role with courage and conviction, knowing that you have been entrusted with a sacred responsibility. Put on the full armor of God and stand firm in the face of adversity. Your family is counting on you, and the world desperately needs men of character and integrity.

As we celebrate Father’s Day, let us honor the fathers who have faithfully discharged their duties and inspire those who are still finding their way. Together, let us commit to raising a generation of fathers who understand the significance of their role, leading with strength and humility. Only then can we hope to see a world transformed by the power of fatherhood.


A Note from Our Deputy Managing Editor:

 

I heard a chilling comment the other day: “We don’t even know if an election will be held in 2024.” 

 

That wasn’t said by a conspiracy theorist or a doomsday prophet. No, former U.S. national security advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said that to the founder of The Western Journal, Floyd Brown.

 

Gen. Flynn’s warning means that the 2024 election is the most important election for every single living American. If we lose this one to the wealthy elites who hate us, hate God, and hate what America stands for, we can only assume that 248 years of American history and the values we hold dear to our hearts may soon vanish.

 

The end game is here, and as Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

 

All of this means that without you, it’s over. We have the platform, the journalists, and the experience to fight back hard, but Big Tech is strangling us through advertising blacklists, shadow bans, and algorithms. Did you know that we’ve been blacklisted by 90% of advertisers? Without direct support from you, our readers, we can’t continue the fight.

 

Can we count on your support? It may not seem like much, but a Western Journal Membership can make all the difference in the world because when you support us directly, you cut Big Tech out of the picture. They lose control. 

 

A monthly Western Journal Membership costs less than one coffee and breakfast sandwich each month, and it gets you access to ALL of our content — news, commentary, and premium articles. You’ll experience a radically reduced number of ads, and most importantly you will be vitally supporting the fight for America’s soul in 2024.

 

We are literally counting on you because without our members, The Western Journal would cease to exist. Will you join us in the fight? 

 

Sincerely,

Josh Manning

Deputy Managing Editor

The Western Journal

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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John J. Smithbaker is an author, speaker, founding servant of Fathers in the Field, and an Alpha male activator. His passion and focus are to help men recapture their divinely assigned roles of Pastor, Provider and Protector in the home, as well as in the Church. His latest book, “Man Enough to Forgive: Healing the Wounds of Fatherhood Abandonment” is available now.




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