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On a Saturday morning this past December, the smallest of adventures with my two-year-old daughter turned into a parental wake-up call. The adventure was her first trip to the local public library. Her eyes were wide; she had never seen so many books. She could not help but express her excitement (far too loudly for such a quiet space). After a brief lesson in library etiquette, I turned her loose to explore. I was excited for her and with her, ready to gather a stack of books to take home.

She made a beeline for a small table of featured books in the children’s section. The display was designed just for her. The books were written just for her. But it took only a few seconds for me to recognize the ungodly message of these featured books. All of the books on this display were addressing various social and cultural issues, and judging these picture books by their covers, the message was clear. They were promoting homosexuality, unnatural gender views, and other unbiblical ideas to toddlers.

Subconsciously, my first reaction was to keep her away, so I directed her to another shelf; there was no shortage of good options. After further reflection, that protection is not enough. The fact that the world’s agenda is pushed in toddler books confirms that the little ones are under attack already, and that it is never too early to begin preparing our children to stand fast against the enemy. Satan is hard at work against even the smallest of our children using many means. Children’s literature is one of them.

Undisguised attacks

I suspected what I observed was not an anomaly. Not many days later, my suspicions were confirmed by an article shared on The Aquila Report: “LGBT Activists are Loudly and Proudly Trying to ‘Normalize Queerness’ in Children’s Literature.”1 The author, Jonathan Van Maren, interacts with a pro-LGBT article about efforts to “normalize queerness” among children. Van Maren’s opening words get to the point:

This comes as no surprise to those of us who have been following the LGBT takeover of culture over the past decade or so, but it is still worth noting: Activists now feel comfortable enough to say the quiet part out loud. That is, as I’ve written in this space before, they are no longer pretending that the education (or re-education) of children is not the goal of their movement.

Their agenda is not new. Their boldness is not new. Even targeting the next generation is not new. But now they openly admit it.

Christians and non-Christians alike recognize the importance of the early years for every aspect of a child’s development. Non-Christians (in this case, the LGBT activists) have no intentions of letting the opportunity slip. Here is Van Maren’s summary of the LGBT approach:

It is important, Prasad [the author of the pro- LGBT article—DN] writes, not to “perpetuate” the “generational prejudices that we inherit from our elders.” In other words, certain views of sexuality and gender are outdated and must be dispensed with. It is the task of educators to ensure that parents do not pass their beliefs on to their children. An important aid in that, Prasad says, is children’s literature, which has the power to “endow their young readers with lifelong values.” That is to say, lifelong LGBT values. Books with LGBT themes, she says, can promote “LGBT+allyship.”

A Christian response, at bottom, includes both protection for children and the preparation of children. Constant watchfulness is required wherever the world has an avenue to our children (personal interactions, screens, books). Yet it is equally important that as parents, to the utmost of our power, we ground our children in the truths of God’s Word, and that we do perpetuate those truths to our children early and often. Thus saith the Lord, “And thou shalt teach them [the words of God] diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut. 6:7).

The aggression and boldness of the world should also create some urgency in our individual and collective efforts to write, publish, and promote children’s literature that instills biblical truths and values in the hearts of our children. My personal observation of recent efforts to that end, including by the RFPA (rfpa.org), are as encouraging as the world’s efforts are frightening.

Evolving standards

One of the challenges of protecting and preparing our children to withstand the attacks of the devil is that the world’s standards are constantly evolving. The standards of morality for the modern world change so rapidly, one can hardly keep up.

Carl Trueman commented on this cultural trend in a recent post:

Years ago, when teaching at seminary, I used to tell the students that moral relevance in the modern world was a cruel and fickle mistress. However much Christians accommodated themselves to her demands, sooner or later she would want more. Christian morality and the morality of the world simply could not be reconciled in the long term.2

He goes on to argue that as a consequence of critical theory, the world can hardly live up to its own standards of morality from week to week—not even in pop culture. What is lauded and adored one day is decried, condemned, and deconstructed the next. In the end, Trueman makes the reasonable claim that the world has “no agreed upon moral compass and [is] marked by a deep suspicion of any attempt by one group to make its truth normative, out of fear that the result will be oppressive and unjust.”

So this is another aspect of the challenge for Christians, both with regard to ourselves and our children. Not only must we be on guard against what the world is teaching today, and how the Devil is tempting and attacking us and our children today, but we must be on guard against the very framework of it all. Evolving standards of morality will give way to a rejection of any standard of morality, and every man will do what is right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6). Christians who hold fast to the unchangeable standard of God’s Word will increasingly be the most prominent targets.

It is almost impossible to keep up with a thorough understanding of the latest fads of culture and society, but we and our children will find rest, safety, and stability in the abiding truth of God’s Word. Through the operation of His Spirit, we and our children are also equipped to discern what is right, what is good, and what is true in every age.

Aggressive legislation

Not only is Satan laboring to teach our children and undercut the divine standard of truth and morality, but one can also observe his efforts in the world to separate children from the influence and oversight of their parents. This is the effect of recent legislation in California, signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.

According to CBS News,

The legislation requires that health services plans or insurers accommodate requests for certain information to remain confidential when receiving these services, or if disclosure of information would endanger the patient. Patients seeking sensitive services will no longer be required to get prior approval from the insurance policyholder or primary subscriber, and information about the procedure will not be allowed to be shared with anyone other than patient without approval.3 [emphasis added]

The summary is in need of explanation. What are these sensitive services? Greg Burt of the California Family Council explains that the bill (which was sponsored by Planned Parenthood)

prohibits insurance companies from revealing to the policyholder the “sensitive” services of anyone on their policy, including minor children, even though the policy owner is financially responsible for the services. These “sensitive” services include abortions, sexual assault treatment, drug abuse and mental health treatment, cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers, and sex-change operations.4

Under the guise of freedom, the state of California essentially declared to parents, Although you must pay the bill, you are not allowed to know what services doctors and insurance companies are providing to your children.

If California is setting the direction of earthly government moving forward, it underscores the importance of making our children’s spiritual development our chief priority, as early as we can, and with much prayer. The temptation to hide something “sensitive” from parents is appealing to our children, especially when they are fearful or ashamed. Prepare them to face those temptations. Teach them what is good and right. Pray with boldness according to the promises of God. And be assured, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4).

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1 Jonathan Van Maren, “LGBT Activists…,” Life Site News, December 9, 2021. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lgbt-activists-

no-longer-hiding-their-goal-to-undermine-homophobic-parents-normalize-queerness-for-kids.

2 Carl Trueman, “The Strange Fate of Hamilton and Harry Potter,”January 6, 2022. https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/

2022/01/the-strange-fate-of-hamilton-and-harry-potter.

3 Li Cohen, “Governor Gavin Newsom declares California a “reproductivefreedom state” with new legislation,” CBS News, September

23, 2021. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gavin-newsom-california-reproductive-freedom-state-legislation.

4 Greg Burt, “Governor Signs Bill to Hide Minor Abortions,Transgender Drugs from Parents,” California Family Council,

September 22, 2021. https://www.californiafamily.org/2021/09/governor-signs-bill-to-hide-minor-abortions-transgender-drugsfrom-

parents.