Planning a Bible lesson on the armor of God? Don’t miss these 3 things you MUST teach your kids about the belt of truth!
Did you know that the “belt of truth” isn’t actually a belt?!
At least, it’s not the kind of belt that we automatically think of.
And it’s important to know what kind of “belt” is spoken of in Ephesians 6:14—because otherwise, we won’t fully understand the concept of putting on the “belt” of truth!
What the Bible says about the belt of truth
We tend to picture the belts we use in our everyday lives—those things we weave through our belt loops to keep our pants up. But that’s not the kind of belt that Paul is describing in Ephesians 6. In fact, the original text doesn’t even mention a belt! The original Greek, literally translated, says, “Stand therefore, having girded the loins of you with truth.”
I know that might as well be Greek to us! 😛 And I’ll be honest; I actually looked up “gird” and “loins” in the dictionary, because those are not everyday words for me.
But “gird” simply means:
- to encircle or bind
- to make fast or secure
- prepare for action
And “loin” is just another word for “hip.”
So at the simplest level, Ephesians 6:14 is saying to encircle your hips with truth. And that’s why translations like the NIV or the ESV talk about putting on “the belt of truth.” The translators of those version were trying to put this odd figure of speech into terms we readily understand.
But, like I mentioned above, a certain image comes to our mind when we think of a belt. And that may not be the type of belt Paul was picturing when he wrote Ephesians 6!
Paul’s inspiration for the belt of truth
Paul penned Ephesians while he was a prisoner in Rome. So he frequently saw Roman soldiers in their armor as he was writing. Where do you suppose he got his inspiration for the “armor of God” analogy? I think it’s safe to say that the armor of God is inspired by the Roman armor of Paul’s day.
And guess what? The Roman soldier’s belt wasn’t anything like our belts today!
Our belts are usually the last thing we put on. And their function is to tighten our waistbands & keep our pants from falling down.
But the Roman soldier used his belt to tie up his basic tunic above his knees—out of his way. And he did it before he put on the any of his armor. So the Roman soldier’s belt was essentially the first piece of armor that he put on.
And that’s if he actually used a belt! There’s also a possibility that the Roman soldier could have “girded up his loins” by simply wrapping up & tying the long part of his tunic around his waist.
So the Roman soldier’s belt was quite different than our belts today.
- The purpose of the soldier’s belt was to prepare him for action by “girding up his loins” (securing his flowy tunic up around his waist).
- The soldier’s belt was essentially the first piece of armor he put on.
Put the belt of truth on first, to prepare for action
That casts a whole new light on the “belt of truth,” doesn’t it?! When we learn about the Roman soldier’s belt, we suddenly realize that the “belt of truth” probably isn’t an afterthought, a decorative accessory, or a last-minute thing.
On the contrary, we should prepare ourselves for action by putting on the belt of truth first, as the foundational piece of our spiritual armor.
To summarize, if you’re going to teach the Armor of God for kids, I believe you must clearly teach:
- How the belt of truth is different than our belts today
- What it means to “gird up your loins” (whether you use this phrase or not, make sure the concept is clear)
- When the belt is put on
And, of course, you don’t just want to share knowledge. You want your kids’ lives to be changed through learning about the belt of truth. You want them to apply the lesson, put on the belt of truth, and stand triumphant!
To make sure you teach effectively about the belt of truth, sign up for my FREE Bible curriculum, “The Armor of God for Kids.” You’ll get printable lesson plans, worksheets, games, crafts, & more! Find out more about “The Armor of God for Kids” or sign up for it now:
Happy teaching!! 😀