This post was written from my point of view with my background as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You can learn more about us at http://lds.org.
It has it’s ups and downs doesn’t it? There are great people in this life we have the privileged of knowing. Those who make us a little bit better because of knowing them. Those who help us realize how precious life is and how amazing we are. Those who go out of their way to help anyone and make the world a better place. I love those kinds of people. My husband is one of them, that’s why I married him.
But there are also the other kind of people. Those who are not kind at all. Those who love to tear us down and make us feel worthless. Those who would love to see us hurting. I don’t like those kind of people very much. And on top of it all, we have social media, TV, and music telling us that we have to be perfect and happy all the time. Well, I’m sorry, but being perfect and happy all the time is NOT gonna happen. That’s not a natural or normal thing, to be happy all the time. Some of us are striving for a perfect life. There is only one person that was perfect. Christ is the only one. We are perfected in Him. We are made perfect by the atoning sacrifice he made on our behalf. Being sad, lonely, discouraged and upset are all natural feelings, and Christ knows exactly how we feel and he makes up for what we lack in this life. This world bombards us with images of perfection. We will never be perfect. We will make mistakes. We will sin. With how much the world is pushing to destroy the family, faith and self worth, we need to protect ourselves from that influence.
How do we protect ourselves and our kids from these bad influences? Why do we have to deal with this in our life?
By Armoring Up every day. Putting on the whole armor of God. How do I teach my kids that they need to Armor Up every day?
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day. . . Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” (Eph. 6:11–18.)
Our spirits are divine. We are daughters and sons of Heavenly Father. He loves us. He has a plan for us. Part of that plan is to be sent to this life to be tested. To be given our agency and let us decide for ourselves who we will follow. This is the meaning of life everyone. This is what it’s all about.
Here are some things we have done with our kids that have helped them Armor Up and face this scary world.
- We have personal scripture STUDY. I use the word study because reading and studying are two completely different things. Are we just reading our scriptures to check off that box every morning? Or are we truly understanding what we are reading?
- We say our personal prayers to our Heavenly Father. I try to teach my children that Heavenly Father is a loving and understanding being. He wants to hear about our trials, joys, and needs. He wants a conversation, not just a recitation that we say every day.
- After studying and praying, we are Armored Up. After we are done, we use an app called Touch to “text” each other “Armored Up“. My kids have iPods and tablets, so texting them in a traditional sense doesn’t work for our family. I love being able to look at these texts every day and know that we have prepared ourselves for the day.
- We have family prayer before the kids go to school and family prayer before bed every day.
- We also have daily family scripture study every night before bed. We love to use the scriptures which are designed for families. They have an Old Testament, New Testament and Book of Mormon version. These books have extra notes in the footnote section that has definitions of some of the hard words and long explanations of scripture, quoting prophets and other scriptures to help the family understand the scriptures better. There are also some pictures for the really young ones. Best investment ever!
- We hold regular family home evening. Usually on a Monday night. Each family member has an assignment which helps them get excited for the night and make them feel like they are contributing. These don’t always have to be a spiritual message. We just make sure the family is spending time together. Some weeks we have traditional lessons using the church magazines that we love, and some weeks we go and do something fun with the family. TIME is the best gift you can give your children
- We go to church every week. Not to just check off a box on our checklist, but to actually worship. We take the sacrament and pray. Sing hymns and have lessons. These 3 hours a week we spend at church are priceless. If I’m sick one week I can’t even explain how drained I feel from not being spiritually filled from the Sabbath worship. This recharges my battery so I can face another week.
Around our home we try to display things that focus on family and spirituality.
We have pictures of Christ in every bedroom. Can you see how well my daughters incorporate Christ’s pictures into their collages on their walls? 😉
Pictures of the prophet and his counselors. A framed “Proclamation to the World”.
Family pictures everywhere.
Including pictures of extended family.
And cute animated pictures of our family too! 🙂
Pictures and sculptures of temples.
Inspirational quotes and these fun dry erase frames for each child to write a note to each other about why we love them. Read more about this wall HERE.
A family home evening rotation magnetic chart. I found these cute magnetic frames at Target.
Vinyl on the walls reminding my son of where he is going in about 2 and a half years. GULP! He is also displaying his Gospel Standards Poster and his Webelos Arrow of light. On his desk, he displays his Eagle Scout picture and certificate.
And last but not least, in the busiest room in the house we have our family picture, family calendar, picture of a temple and my daughters Faith in God Certificate. Also my Visiting Teaching assignment and the beautiful artwork of my 4 year old son.
Surrounding ourselves with good things that point to eternity make us happy in our home. Yes, I have the typical Mormon family home, and I’m PROUD of it. 🙂 It may be cheesy, but I take my responsibility to make my home a hallowed place seriously.
I hope that some of these tips will help your family put on their daily armor and be ready to face the world.
P.S. I thought this was funny. For all you christian boys out there trying to pick up on a christian girl.
Love this post! Lots of great ideas to help our kids fight the daily battle of life! I love your “I Love you because” frames.! I need to make some for my kids. They would LOVE it!! Pinned!
Great post, Annette! It’s a scary world out there. You have given great ideas to help protect ourselves and our family. Thanks!
Heidi @ One Creative Mommy says
I love the idea of texting each other that you are “armored up!” My little ones don’t text, but my hubby and my teenager could certainly do that. What a great idea!
You’re doing the right things. Good for you. Your family is lucky to have you for their mom. Keep up the good work, and thanks for sharing your ideas.
I love the picture of the armor hanging up in the closet. Did you make that picture? I think it would be neat to have at the top of the picture Prepare to Armor Up or Did you Armor up today?