When my husband and I were children’s pastors, we did a series on the armor of God and we made a suit of armor out of balloons. I knew my kids would love this. And I just knew I had not one, but two balloon pumps at home. But could I find them? Nope.
And probably not surprisingly to you, I think a balloon pump is a must in any household. (I still haven’t told you about my balloon animal making prowess in the Dominican Republic.)
Where was I? Oh yeah, belt of truth. Armor of God. All that.
Honestly, the belt of truth is a hard one for me. What does it mean exactly? We should tell the truth? We should believe the truth of God’s Word? I think any of these are appropriate interpretations. But what does that mean for a kid?
So, I just asked the kids what they thought. Why would Paul include the belt in the armor? What would a belt do for a Roman Soldier? As we talked, the kids came up with a lot of good answers: belts go all around you, they are close to you and they hold your sword!
This conversation led us directly to the verse I wanted them to know, John 14:6…
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
Jesus is truth. And just like a belt, we need Jesus all around us and close to us. We want His words, The Word, to be around us and close to us. So, we made a little balloon belt to remind us of keeping Jesus and His Words close to us.
I blew up one balloon and grabbed a Sharpie. Then we brainstormed some truth we knew from God’s Word–Truth Jesus said or taught.
We came up with “shepherd”, “Jesus forgives”, “Jesus loves us”, “Jesus will never leave us or desert us” and more. We wrote them all on the balloon.
Then I tied the belts around the kids and we talked about what this means in daily life.
I asked them what they should do if they ever feel alone in their rooms at night. Or lonely at school. Instead of being sad, they can remember that Jesus promised to be with them wherever they go. We put our hands on our belt and pretended to remember that truth.
I made up lots of different examples like, “What if you did something bad and you didn’t want to tell Mommy and Daddy or Jesus about it because you were afraid you would get in trouble. If you were wearing your belt of truth, what would you remember? You could remember that Jesus promised to forgive us when we ask.” Then we put our hands on our belt again.
It was a really visual activity. Putting on the belt of truth means we have God’s truth close. Close as putting your hands on your hips or round your waist. I want my kids to know that God’s Word is (and should be) on the tips of their tongues and at the edge of their fingers. God’s Word is Truth that will center them and circle them for the rest of their lives.
You could easily do this without a balloon (but a balloon is super fun!). You could write on a scrap of fabric or even an old belt from the thrift store. The point is to let the kids see and feel what it’s like to have God’s Truth central to their being.
Oh, and I found a pretty good book about the armor of God called, God’s Armor for Me. It’s not one you’ll read a hundred times in a row. But it gives some good information on each piece of armor and relates each one to the protective wear when riding a bike. I think it will be a good introduction book as we look at each piece of the armor.
And one more fun thing–as we were talking about the armor of God, we did some coloring sheets I had from Timbuktoons (it also comes with some funny Power Point slides) but there are tons of free Armor of God coloring sheets online. Check out my Armor of God Pinterest board for some of my faves.