Op/Ed: Do You Have Your Armor On?


Do You Have Your Armor On? The following article has been written by Janelle Newton. It includes editorial content which is the opinion and story of the writer.

When my husband is at work I see an empty “valet stand” in our bedroom. It is empty…because he has his armor on. Do you have your armor on today? I may not have a bulletproof vest, but when I see this empty stand it is a reminder to me to put my armor on as well.

I didn’t always know what this valet stand was called. We bought it many years ago at a thrift store to solve the problem of having a place for his uniform when he’s not wearing it. I always just called it a uniform holder. It may have a fancy name, but its job is not glamorous. It holds his heavy bulletproof vest and gear because regular clothes hangers break under the weight of them.

I found out several years ago that my husband prays and spiritually prepares himself with other armor as he is mentally preparing for work and putting on all of his body armor and gear for his shift. What a comfort it was to me to learn this, and it helped me understand a little better how he is able to go out and do what he does.

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The armor matters. It’s what sets apart the really great cops. We all know them…they are the ones who are so very well acquainted with the darkness, yet they never let it dim their light. The armor is what sets apart the great marriages as well, because you need this armor to be the spouse of a law enforcement officer for the long haul. The armor is what makes a woman strong enough to work through the hardest things, when many would leave their ring on the table and walk out the door, crushed by the weight of the badge.

If you don’t know what armor I am talking about, please keep reading. It’s not the kind you buy in a store. You can’t order it online. Your department certainly cannot provide it to you. But we all have this armor available to us if we know Jesus, and we can read about it in the Bible.

Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us about this incredible armor:
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.
15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

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The armor God gives us is not heavy and cumbersome, rather, when we put it on, it makes our burdens lighter as we have the tools to fight the enemy well. The armor God provides to us does not exhaust us, rather it makes us strong. Take a second look at these powerful tools that have been made available to us: Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Faith, Salvation, The Word of God, and Prayer. They may not be what you learned in the academy, but they are definitely just as important as every item on your duty belt,
perhaps even more important.

When my husband got accepted into the police academy more than twenty years ago, and we were preparing to move away from home, his family wanted to receive a collection to buy him a bulletproof vest. We were happy to tell them that wasn’t necessary. A vest was provided by the department. This is such a beautiful parallel to our Heavenly Father. He has provided all the armor we need. We just have to use it.
On the other hand, my husband did have to purchase his own weapon. The department does not provide the officers’ guns. Each officer has to purchase the weapon he or she wants to carry. This was a big investment for us as a young family, starting out in a new career. But I see a spiritual analogy in this as well. Our spiritual weapon, the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, is something we must be willing to invest in. We must study it and learn to use it.

My husband is required to qualify continually with his weapons. He must go to the range and prove that he still knows how to shoot. Sometimes adjustments must be made, or a scope needs to be added. Our physical abilities change a little over the years, and sometimes new investments must be made to keep us, accurate, sharp, and effective.

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It is a continual process of investing, practicing and testing. Sounds a lot like a healthy spiritual life – investing, practicing and testing.

I pray that this is a good reminder for someone today to put on the armor of God – it is there for us. I also hope that you will remember to pray for our law enforcement officers because they need to know God and the armor that is available to them. There are things they face that Kevlar, pepper spray, tasers and even guns are powerless against. They need the mighty power found only in the armor provided by God.

Janelle Newton
Janelle Newton – Police Spouse and Author

Janelle Newton is the wife of a Law Enforcement Officer, homeschooling mom of four sons, a teacher, speaker, and writer. She is the author of the book Bulletproof Home: A Mom’s Guide to Building an Indestructible House. Janelle and her husband Paul founded BridgeToTheBadge.org, a non-profit First Responder ministry.

Op/Ed: Do You Have Your Armor On?

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