Wondering how putting on the full armor of God Scripture applies to women? This well-known Bible passage is packed with practical inspiration, which Gina M Poirier and Brittany Ann explore in this post.
The “full armor of God” scripture in Ephesians 6 is one of the better-known passages to a lot of Christians.
It’s for good reason—putting on the full armor of God is a vivid metaphor that reminds us to be on guard and stay true to the faith.
At the same time, the armor of God Scripture is so familiar that it tends to have a lullaby effect.
I often find myself zoning out when I come to that passage because I’ve already heard it a million times.
What’s more, since a warrior in armor is a pretty masculine image from a different time and place, I don’t find it to be very relatable to me, as a woman in the 21st century.
Just being honest!
Obviously, if you believe in the inspiration of the text, the armor of God isn’t just a concept that’s relevant for children’s ministry, men’s retreats, or people of the distant past.
The apostle Paul wrote Ephesians to both men and women, and the truth he wanted to convey is as relevant now as it was 2,000 years ago.
That means, as Christians, we have a responsibility to learn how to put on the armor of God. But how?
I decided to look at this passage with fresh eyes.
It turns out there is a lot we can learn about the full armor of God, when we study this passage in its context and apply it to women today.
Related Reading: How to Grow Your Faith: 8 Powerful Ideas!
What is the Full Armor of God? (Definition)
The full armor of God refers to the 7 pieces of spiritual “armor” the apostle Paul instructions Christians to put on in Ephesians 6:10-18 in order to stand strong against Satan’s schemes. When Christians put on the whole armor of God, it gives them greater (supernatural) ability to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”
What are the 7 Pieces of the Armor of God?
The seven pieces of the armor of God are:
- The Belt of Truth
- The Breastplate of Righteousness
- Feet Fitted with Readiness
- The Shield of Faith
- The Helmet of Salvation
- The Sword of the Spirit
Note: While there’s some debate about whether “prayer” should be included in the full armor of God, many people consider there to be 7 pieces of the armor of God – not 6 – so we decided to include it in this post as well.
Where are the Full Armor of God Verses in the Bible?
The whole armor of God is mentioned only once in Scripture, by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18.
These Bible verses read:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
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.
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.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
There are other passages that allude to some of these pieces (as we’ll see in a minute). But this is the only passage that lists all 7 pieces of the armor of God together in one Scripture passage.
What is the Context of the Full Armor of God Scripture?
While you can glean some insight into just reading these Bible verses on their own, I found it much more instructive when heard as the concluding remarks in the book of Ephesians. Remember: It’s important to learn how to study the Bible in context!
Here’s a quick recap: Ephesians is a letter Paul wrote to Jew and Gentile believers who were, against all social norms of their day, part of the same family of faith because of God’s love and the power of his salvation.
They were part of a new creation in the Messiah and had set aside their former ways of life in order to build one another up. He called them to be unified, with instructions about how to live together as God’s holy people.
Paul concludes the letter with the encouragement to “put on the full armor of God.” He evokes the imagery found in Isaiah 11:5 (belt of righteousness and faithfulness), 49:2 (the word of God as a sword), and 59:17 (breastplate of righteousness, helmet of salvation).
Those Isaiah passages are important because they’re Messianic in nature and paint a picture of God’s power as he defeats the forces that are actively working against his plan of salvation, which is to restore all of creation.
What Paul is saying when he talks about the armor of God is that Christians have access to incredible power.
While there are dark forces at work, the believers are in Christ, and Christ has won. Jew or Gentile, man or woman, whatever their station in life, they are one with each other and with the Messiah. And they have everything they need—if they put the armor on.
This message is as true and relevant now as it was then.
With this in mind, let’s look at how women can put on the full armor of God today.
Recommended Resource: The Armor of God Women’s Bible Study
By the way, if you’d like to learn even more about the full armor of God, I’d definitely recommend checking out The Armor of God Women’s Bible study by Priscilla Shirer.
As I share in my post, 10 Best Bible Studies for Women to Help You Grow in Faith:
In “The Armor of God,” popular author, speaker and actress Priscilla Shirer, not only alerts Christian women to the seriousness of spiritual warfare happening around us every day, but also gives women a practical battle plan for serious, specific, and strategic prayer in the face of life’s many challenges.
In this 6-week Bible study, Priscilla Shirer helps women identify their own specific current obstacles, before studying the whole armor of God and learning how to apply it to their own unique situations in a real and powerful way.
How to Put on the Armor of God as Women Today
Now that we know what the full armor of God is, how do we use it today, as women? Let’s look at each of the 7 pieces of the armor of God in detail to see how each can help us stand strong in our faith today.
1. What is the Belt of Truth? And How Do We Use it?
The Belt of Truth is what we use to combat Satan’s lies. We put it on by actively choosing to believe God’s truth instead.
Women are bombarded by lies that tell us we need to be prettier, to be thinner, that we need a man to be complete, that our homes need to be spotless, or that our children need to be quiet little angels or we’re failing. (Fill in the blank for yourself.)
AND we’re also bombarded with lies about other people that threaten the unity of the church. It is so easy to identify with political parties, economic classes, social groups, races, or nations above Christ.
When putting on the full armor of God, buckle the belt of truth by actively surrounding yourself with what is true, while rejecting what is false.
Consider how much time and energy you spend consuming the news or social media versus studying the Word or focusing your attention on Truth. Knowing what is true helps you approach everything else with wisdom so you can stand firm.
Related Reading: How to Take Every Thought Captive (This is Life Changing!)
2. What is the Breastplate of Righteousness? And How Do We Use it?
The Breastplate of Righteousness helps us act in ways that are good, right, and holy before God. We put it on by choosing to do what’s right instead of what’s easy.
Righteousness in the Bible is often used interchangeably with justice. To be righteous is to act justly before God and others, as God himself is. It’s hard to do, which is why we need God’s power working in us to do it.
Maybe putting on the breastplate of righteousness means speaking up for those who can’t effectively speak for themselves. Maybe it means setting healthy boundaries. Maybe it means doing it everything it takes to overcome our personal battles with sin and temptation.
Paul says earlier in Ephesians 4:24 says “to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Just remember that when it’s hard to put on the full armor of God and do what’s right, he has made you a new person. With him, you can do it!
3. What are Feet Fitted with Readiness? And How Can We Use Them?
We follow Paul’s command to have “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” when we know the Gospel and are prepared to live it out (peacefully!) throughout the situations we face each day.
Women who put on the full armor of God are alert and ready. As a mom with little kids in my home right now, I know what this looks like. I don’t have the option to coast mindlessly through the day because I’m constantly watching and listening, meeting needs, and averting danger.
Just as I make every effort to keep my kids healthy and safe, Christian women can play a vital role in doing this in the church and in our communities.
Women tend to be relationship oriented. We see needs, read emotions, and are driven to connect. What an incredible gift women can use to serve and fight against the dark forces that are at work against God and his people!
Pay attention to the needs you see and be prepared to respond when you can. Be outward-focused and love like Jesus as you live out your faith each day.
4. What is the Shield of Faith? And How Do We Use it?
The Shield of Faith keeps our trust firmly on God. We take it up when we choose to trust God and his goodness faithfully when doubts, fears, and insecurities start to creep in.
We all face trials, big and small, that threaten to undermine our faith. When life is painful, it’s natural to question God, to doubt his promises, or try to take matters into our own hands.
As women, our faith is especially challenged when the people we love most are under attack. When my kids are struggling, my mama bear instinct drives me to do everything I can to protect them from harm.
Putting on the full armor of God’s shield of faith is an ongoing choice to let go and trust God. That doesn’t mean we sit back and do nothing, but it does mean that we release our grasp on what we can’t control.
5. What is the Helmet of Salvation? And How Do We Use it?
The Helmet of Salvation is the assurance that comes from knowing that we are “in Christ.” We put it on by placing our identity in him and focusing on his plan.
This piece of the armor of God points back to Isaiah 59. Paul’s reference to this imagery is a reminder that God has had a saving plan for the world from the beginning. Ephesians 1 talks about how those who are in Christ are a part of that plan of salvation. It’s the “big picture” of what’s going on in the world, and we often lose sight of it!
It’s easy for women to get caught up in our various roles: wife, mother, career, or even being part of a particular church, community group or political party. These roles aren’t wrong, but it’s easy to idolize them!
If you’re spending more time and energy building up who you are in your roles in the world, that’s a sign you need to pause.
Putting on the helmet of salvation means stepping back and looking at the big picture. You may be a wife/mother/etc., but first and foremost you are in Christ and a part of his plan.
6. What is the Sword of the Spirit? And How Do We Use it?
The Sword of the Spirit is the power we have access to when we use the Word of God to guard our hearts against Satan’s attacks.
Paul notes that the Spirit is the word of God—how he speaks to us. This includes God’s Words in the Bible, but also how he speaks to us through creation, through prayer, and through the body of Christ.
Ephesians 1:18 says, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.“
Knowing our Lord is at the heart of what women do when we put on the full armor of God. We can seek what the Spirit is saying through reflection, prayer, studying the Bible, and other spiritual disciplines. These simple practices help us to hear and follow his voice as we use the sword of the Spirit to engage in the spiritual battle.
7. How Do We Pray in the Spirit?
To “Pray in the Spirit” is the last piece of the armor of God. Praying in the Spirit means listening to God’s voice and guidance as we go to him in prayer.
It makes sense that Paul wraps up the full armor of God verses with a call to prayer. It’s something that relates to all the other pieces of armor, as we really can’t put them on and access God’s power without praying.
Praying in the Spirit is an ongoing conversation with God that can involve praise, gratitude, requests, laments, or even just listening to him in silence as you seek his will. (These prayer prompts can help you get started!)
Related Reading: How to Start Prayer Journaling (With 20 Prompts for Women!)
An Armor of God Prayer for Women
Since putting on the full armor of God means relying on his power, it’s only fitting to pray.
Here’s a prayer you can pray based off the armor of God Scripture passage.
We praise you, Lord, for your plan of salvation for the world, which includes men and women from all groups of people. We pray that you strengthen us with power through your Spirit—and grasp how wide, long, high, and deep your love is.
As we live our lives worthy of the calling we’ve received, walking in the way of love, please help us be strong in your mighty power and put on your armor each day.
May we stand firm in the belt of truth, rejecting the lies that bombard us every moment.
May we find strength in the breastplate of righteousness and seek justice in a world that is selfish and cruel.
May our feet be ready to spread the hope that comes from knowing the gospel of peace.
May we rest behind the shield of faith, extinguishing arrows of doubt, insecurity, and self-validation.
May we trust in your salvation, which has been unfolding since the beginning and will be complete in your time.
May we take up the sword of the Spirit—your word—seeking your wisdom and guidance as we engage with the world each day.
May we remember that your power is always at work in us and through us and that we only need ask for it.
In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, amen.
We’d also love to hear from you in the comments. What are some ways you can put on the full armor of God in your life?