We have heard from childhood the ancient legends of “knights in shining armor.” They traveled about the countryside, often in search of the Holy Grail, fighting giants and dragons and rescuing damsels in distress. Of course, these stories are mainly legends, and yet, the legends are rooted in truth. Indeed, many of these legends were crafted by medieval storytellers to preserve and present a timeless story—the biblical story of redemption. For our Bible is filled with tales of giants, dragons, and knights rescuing damsels in distress. Or, better the Knight rescuing the Damsel in distress. The Bible story is the story of Jesus delivering His bride, the church, from the terrorizing clutches of evil giants (principalities and powers) and a fire breathing dragon (that old serpent, the devil).
The thought of knights in shining armor comes to mind in Ephesians 6 where we read about putting on the whole armor of God. We are called to finish the finished work of Calvary as we, the soldiers of the Cross, play out and realize the victory of Christ at the Cross. We are called to be “knights in shining armor” rescuing the “damsel in distress” of those who are called to follow Jesus.
But there is a further angle that strikes me: Paul speaks in Ephesians 6 about putting on the armor of God just as he concludes speaking to the Christian household. He speaks to wives, husbands, children, fathers, masters and servants, which were the members of the house in Paul’s day. So, though the exhortation to put on the armor of God and fight the good fight is directed to all believers, yet it has a specific application for the Christian family, if I may say so without narrowing the focus too much.
This leads me to the observation that faithful Christian men must become knights in shining armor who rise up against giants and the dragon in our day to defend the home against the onslaught of the enemy. In other words, we must recognize the spiritual dimension to this battle for the home, and we must recognize that we are in a battle for the lives of our wives and children.
The urgency of this responsibility becomes very evident when we see that Satan’s strategy since Eden has been to destroy the woman and her seed. The devil remembers very well that the woman and her seed are to be the source of his defeat. Jesus is the Seed of the woman, and Satan killed Him. But killing Jesus was the worst possible thing Satan could have done, for God raised Jesus from the dead and exalted Him to rule from the heavens, where He then sent forth the Spirit of Christ and multiplied the Seed of God in believers everywhere. What a nightmare for the devil!
Jesus multiplied His presence through the children of God that He filled with His Spirit, and the promise that was made to Eve for salvation has now become “the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are afar off” (Acts 2:39). The seed of the woman is multiplying daily in the earth through the growth of Christian families and the salvation of “strangers” to the gospel. And because the Christian family is central to the advance of the kingdom–“the promise is to your children”–Satan knows that he must destroy the children of believers if he is to defeat the promise of God.
We see this in Revelation 12 where the dragon stands ready to devour the man-child as soon as He is born. Then, after the man-child is caught up into heaven, the dragon turns his fury upon the woman. The woman and child are the focus of Satan’s fury.
This means that we must perceive the eternal importance of Satan’s war on the family and rise up as mighty men of war, knights in shining armor, to defeat the spirits of hell that attack our homes. Rise up, O man of God! Rise up, O mighty men of valor! The dragon hovers in every-lowering circles over our wives and children. He is awaiting the perfect moment to pounce in fury, breathing cruelty and slaughter. We absolutely must not stand by and permit that ancient serpent to destroy their souls.
Then, finally, we must consider the importance of each article of the armor and put it on. We must see the armor as being the collection of weapons needed to defend our families. We must see this armor as armor worn at home. We cannot come home from work and remove the armor. We cannot return from church and cast the armor off in the corner. We must understand that the home is our greatest battlefield.
This is where, more than anywhere else, we must put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. If we are to be knights in shining armor, we must defend the fortress of our home. Our home is our castle and it is under attack. We cannot be soldiers only on a distant battlefield. We must draw the bridge, arm the ramparts and fight for the castle of our home.