In Ancient times, archery was a prominent means of warfare. "Arrows were especially destructive against unarmoured masses." (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historyofarchery) This brings more poignancy to Paul's counsel to protect ourselves from "all the fiery darts of the wicked." (Ephesians 6:16) Looking at today's world, it seems as if those fiery darts are coming more often and more quickly. Issues such as pornography, drugs, child abuse, dishonesty, greed - the list goes on and on. In the same epistle, Paul instructs us to "Put on the whole armor of God" to protect ourselves and our families from these evils. Here are some principles from Paul's epistle that can help us in protecting our families:
"Gird about with truth."
To gird up one's loins is "to prepare oneself for something requiring strength and endurance." The same dictionary defines gird as "to prepare for action; brace." So we need to brace our families with truth. The world would have us believe that truth is relative to the situation and changes with the times. The Lord has taught us that he is unchanging. The truths taught by Him do not change.
"Breastplate of Righteousness."
A breastplate protects the heart and other vital organs. Righteousness is the act of living right, of keeping the commandments. We can protect our families with living right, just as the breastplate protects the heart.
"Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace."
Our feet take us places. We need to teach our families to be willing to go into the world to share the peace that comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"Shield of faith."
Shields were used to deflect attacks. Our faith is what protects us from temptations. We can teach our families to deflect attacks on our standards and beliefs with our faith. We need to have faith that the Lord will protect us.
"Helmet of Salvation."
A helmet was designed to protect the head and brain. Our brain is the source of our ability to think and know. Salvation comes from our knowledge of the Savior. Teaching our families to come to know Christ and that he is the source of our salvation can protect us from those fiery darts.
"Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God."
The sword is a weapon. When wielded correctly, it protects. It can stop the blows of an enemy as well as destroy that enemy. The scriptures are the word of God. We must teach our families the word of God so they can withstand the blows of the enemy as well as destroy their arguments. The knowledge from the scriptures can help them win their battles against evil.
In the movie, The Return of the KingGandalf, the wizard says, "We come to it at last ... The great battle of our time. The board is set. The pieces are moving." This could easily apply to the times we live in. It is not a war over territory, fought with actual weapons like swords and arrows. It is a war for the hearts and souls of men. But we can take comfort in the protection promised when we don the armor of God. This armor can protect each member of our family as we teach them the precepts of truth and knowledge of the gospel. Then we can do as Paul bids and "take the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13)