Parents: a call to awareness, advocacy, and action…

By December 12, 2016

USA (MNN) — Parents: if you are on the American Family Association’s email list, you recently got this notice:

(Image courtesy Wikipedia)

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Highlights, the nationally recognized magazine for kids, has decided to include same-sex families in their magazines. Babies and preschoolers will soon be introduced to homosexuality in the Highlights line of magazines. Sadly, children’s publications are no longer off limits, even those designed specifically for toddlers and elementary age children.

Highlights had stated previously that they believe parents should decide when to bring up the topic of homosexuality. But after backlash from the LGBT community, Highlights committed to including same-sex families in future publications.

Highlights’ Christine Cully said, “When we do show families in the magazines, we make it a point to include diversity. We strive to be diverse in every way…In the future, we will depict same-sex families in our magazines in a manner consistent to the way all diverse families are depicted.”

Many parents and grandparents buy subscriptions to these magazines as gifts, especially at this time of year. They should be warned of the upcoming change of content in these kid’s magazines. It is not Highlights’ job to introduce so-called “social issues” to children. That is a parent’s role.

The email goes on to encourage people to sign a petition or call the magazine to complain/cancel the subscription.  It’s a campaign that brings to the forefront an issue of which many may not have been aware…. However, there are a few questions that come to mind:  While this lets everybody know what you’re against, does it tell them what you’re for?  What comes after?  What changes?

We asked Executive Director of Keys For Kids, Greg Yoder for his thoughts on the matter.  First, “I just want people to know that we do love people and we want to encourage them in their walk with the Lord.  If they’re searching for spiritual Truth, we want them to find spiritual Truth.  Hopefully, they can find that by us loving them and telling them about the truth of Scripture.”

(Image courtesy Keys For Kids)

(Image courtesy of Keys For Kids)

Secondly, they’re making sure they’re communicating that spiritual Truth through their Keys For Kids devotional booklet, as an alternative.  He understands that parents, grandparents and even great grandparents want content they can trust.

“As we look at this controversy taking place in our culture, we shouldn’t be all that surprised. We know that apart from Christ, we choose things that aren’t complimentary to God’s Word.  Keys For Kids Ministries is making sure we point people to Scripture every single day.  We stay true to God’s Word and that we don’t water it down so kids know exactly what it is that we’re trying to teach them.”

Thirdly, they’re not shying away from the realities facing kids today.  “We hear about issues happening in school systems with the violence, with bullying.  We hear about families going through divorce and there are some issues with human trafficking and those kinds of things.”

Yoder adds that while the Keys For Kids devotional is not a traditional children’s magazine, there are fun activities included for subscribers.

“We’re beginning to include some coloring pages that are helping kids not just be creative in how they color, but also point them back to Scripture and help them learn about Jesus and all the things we want them to be grounded in; also helping them to defend some of the things they know deep down in their heart and encouraging them to walk with the Lord.”

(Photo courtesy Keys For Kids)

(Photo courtesy of Keys For Kids)

A final consideration in this discussion centers on the 4/14 Window, when missiologists estimate that 60 to 70 percent of people who come to Christ do so between their fourth and 14th birthday.

Yoder offers this food for thought: “By the time they’re 15-years old, they’re going to have some kind of ‘truth’ they’re going to rely upon.  Wouldn’t it be a lot better that they were looking for spiritual truth and they found it through a Keys For Kids devotional, or maybe a coloring page that introduced them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?”

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