Our marriages need protecting. And God has provided us with His full armor to keep us safe and make us strong. This Couples’ Bible Study series looks at each piece of armor as seen in Ephesians 6:10-20 and how it helps us to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” and “stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10-11).
“Stand firm then…with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” – Ephesians 6:15.
A Strong Foundation
Today’s footwear is often a fashion statement. We have many different types, styles, and colors for various purposes, occasions, and outfits. We often want our footwear to speak to others about our personality, our preferences, and our status.
This was not often the case in Paul’s time, especially for soldiers. Soldiers needed footwear that would protect and aid them in battle. The Roman-Jewish scholar Josephus, who lived in Paul’s era, described the Roman soldier’s shoes as being thickly studded with sharp nails. This allowed them to get a good grip on the ground no matter what the terrain was like as they marched and fought. Historians have credited the success of the armies of both Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, in large measure, to the quality of their armies’ footwear in comparison to that of their opponents.
These shoes allowed the soldier to take his stand against the enemy, just as Paul calls us to “take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11). He tells us to put on this armor “…so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then” (Ephesians 6:13-14). We can only do this with the right footwear.
So what is the right footwear? It is the “readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15). It is the gospel message as described in Romans 5:1-2: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”
We can only stand firm against the attacks of our enemy the devil when we have placed our lives entirely in the hands of God by faith in Christ. Only then can we have peace with God and our feet be ready to dig in and take our stand. (To know more about how to have this peace with God, read this.)
James 4:7 says: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” That’s a promise from God to us, and it is a promise that applies to our marriages.
Ready to Stand Firm
The readiness spoken of here is given to us through the Holy Spirit, whom God sends to live within us when we accept Christ. We can see the evidence of this readiness when we have a desire to follow God and be the husband or wife He calls us to be.
We husbands stand ready when we love our wife “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word” (Ephesians 5:25-26). And wives, you stand ready when you love your husband and submit to him as you do to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22). We each stand ready when we do what God teaches us to do through His Word, no matter what the world says, because we know how much He loves us and wants what is best for us.
When we accept God’s gracious, loving gift of salvation through faith in Jesus, we are at peace with God. We are set free to follow Christ and His ways instead of remaining slaves to our sinful selves and the ways of the world. Christ Himself said that when we are His, and when we know and live His ways, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
Paul put it this way in Romans 8:18, 22-23: “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness…But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This is why we can only stand firm and withstand the attacks of Satan when we have made peace with God through faith in Christ. We stand firm when we stand on the firm foundation of feet shod in the shoes of God’s peace.
It is the peace we have through Christ that allows us to have peace in our marriage relationship. When we stand firm on the gospel, our marriage will have a secure foundation—strong enough to weather any storm, overcome any challenge, and stand firm in the attacks of the enemy.
Ready to March
Part of the meaning of strong feet is to march to take that gospel of peace to others. We certainly take it to our spouse and our children first. We also take God’s peace wherever else we go. Paul puts it like this in 2 Corinthians 5:20-21: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
If we are going to have the strong, gracious, and loving marriage that God wants us to have, we must stand on the foundation of feet shod with God’s gospel of peace. We must remember the peace God has given to us as a gift, and then we will be able to pass that peace on to our wife or husband and to others in our lives.
Questions for Discussion
- Are your feet fitted with the love, grace, forgiveness, and peace of God that He offers through Christ? If not, ask Him to take control of your life today. Watch how He changes your life and marriage.
- What specific truth from today’s lesson did you learn? How did God speak to you about your life and marriage today? What can you do to specifically apply it today or this week?
- One of the ways we can grow in our walk with the Lord, both individually and with each other, is when we share the peace God has given us with others. Think together about ways you can work together to share this peace with your family, friends, and neighbors.
Next week we will continue this study by looking at the shield of faith, another vital piece of armor to protect our marriages.
Until then, may God bless you in all His wonderful ways,
Other posts in the PROTECTING YOUR MARRIAGE WITH THE ARMOR OF GOD series:
Part 1–We’re in a Battle
Part 2–The Belt of Truth
Part 3–The Breastplate of Righteousness
Part 5–The Shield of Faith
Part 6–The Helmet of Salvation
Part 7–The Sword of the Spirit
Part 8–The Power of Prayer
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.