Sharp Swords

Hardy Swords

A dear friend and co-worker recently called me and asked,

“Would your grandsons like some swords and a pirate costume?”

Is the sky blue? Is grass green?

Yes, YES!

She dropped them off the day before four of our grandsons arrived last week. They immediately began to pose, stab, and swing those swords around. These swords did not come with an instruction booklet or a YouTube video with a live demonstration.

These boys just knew what to do. It was instinctive, a part of their genetic make-up.

I have evolved in my thinking about play swords, guns, etc. When our first child was born in 1977, I was not going to encourage violent play by giving him play guns or swords. We gave him toy trucks, trains, tools, balls of all kinds, etc.

Soon after he walked, he started picking up sticks and swinging them around. He pulled apart the stalks of dried Joe Pie weeds and had “sword” fights with his sisters. Any stick with a crook became a gun – if it was long enough it was a rifle.

My evolution became complete when I realized that children will play “fighting” and “battles”. I just needed to set limits on how they played with play swords or weapons.

So – no hitting people or animals. Period.

Since the fall of man, people have been in conflict. The Bible is full of such situations. The apostle Paul says in Ephesians 6:10-17 –

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Notice two things in particular about this passage –

* the battle is NOT against flesh and blood – other people – but evil spiritual forces
* we need the sword of the Spirit which is God’s Word

Hebrews 4:12 says –

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

God’s word is described as a sword in these two passages. As I saw the grand children playing with the swords, it struck me that we need to prepare them for the spiritual battles they face every day. We do that by learning to use God’s word which is “sharper than any double edged sword.”

When I was dealing with the fear of losing our son when he was stationed in Iraq, I would quote “God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.” The battle for me was not against the terrorists in Iraq, but the FEAR that I would lose my son. This Bible verse did not guarantee my son’s safety – it DID guarantee that God would be with me whatever happened to my loved ones.

Quoting God’s word sets my mind on truth, not the circumstances around me. It allows me to wield that sharp, two edged sword!

We must take the time to share with our children and grandchildren the word of God so that they will be prepared, swords sharp, for the battles they face.



“Have we lost what it means to be reverent?” our friend asked the other evening when we were sharing about the joys and challenges of being grandparents.

This topic came up because I had shared that I didn’t want to be a “crabby old lady, frowning at random little children who are misbehaving” when we attend gatherings of the church.

If you are looking, you will always be able to find some poor, unsuspecting child who is;
* running in the church building
* laughing when it is time to be quiet
* picking up all the bulletins that have just been set out
on the seats
* taking the last 6 donuts from the adult Sunday School
class refreshment counter

Yet the point our friend was making – that is very significant – is that we seem to have lost a sense of reverence for being in God’s presence.

God’s word tells us that where two or three are GATHERED IN HIS NAME God is there with us!!!

Do we value that? Is it of utmost importance that we recognize the presence of the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE?!


Biblical folks were struck speechless, glowed, blinded, and transformed after an encounter with the living God.

We may be checking our Facebook page or texting when in corporate worship. What is that telling our children or grandchildren?

The definition of reverence is a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration.
How do we practically demonstrate reverence when we have small children (grandchildren) that we include in times of worship?

Several practical things came to mind. You may think of others but here goes:

1) be intentional about times of corporate worship. We are there to WORSHIP GOD! not a multitude of other things.

2) turn off all electronic devices and have family members do so as well. You will survive, trust me.

3) quiet yourself. This may not mean not talking to anyone, or it may. It does mean being quiet enough to sense the Lord’s presence.

4) focus on God’s presence through the prayers, worship songs, preaching and teaching, testimonies, etc.

5) take every thought captive. When my mind starts to make a grocery list, stop, re-focus.

6) ENJOY the time of corporate worship. This will be the most important aspect of communicating reverence to our children and grandchildren. When they SEE that we find joy in God’s presence, it is contagious.

I do believe that pastors, elders, Sunday School teachers, but most of all parents need to communicate clearly with children what it means to be reverent. Children will value what they see the adults they love and respect value.

Jesus was going to the temple to pray to his Father. At the entrance he saw crooks selling animals for sacrifices at exorbitant prices. He flew into a rage because they were making His Father’s house of worship into something else.

John 2:13-16

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”

Jesus took reverence for His Father and His house of worship very seriously.

So must we.