April is National child abuse prevention month!
Imagine a world in which children are neither abused nor neglected, instead they are happy and peaceful. Visualize a society where you have a joyful life for children, where their hearts and minds are filled with the presence of God. This world is available to our children through a personal relationship with God.
Olive Jones in her book “Inspired Children” shows us exactly how to bring this life to our Children. She cautions that it takes more than a loving atmosphere. It requires that the parents cooperate with Christ in the bringing about this presence of God in their lives. This methodology has been used successfully since Biblical times. However, it was the exception rather than the rule, until the late 1800’s. The Salvationists (the forerunner to the Salvation Army) were the first to bring this Biblical methodology to the average Christian. This was followed by the Oxford Group movement (The keystone of Alcoholics Anonymous).
Sam Shoemaker in his introduction states: “this book will increase the faith and spiritual conviction of your children” he further states that “with Christ at the center of their relationships, it is a sure sign that these children will avoid the pain and inner isolation which spelled adolescence for so many in the past.” Who among us would not move mountains to give this to our children? The first half of the book is entitled True Stories of Children’s Spiritual Experience. It is replete with stories of children who have found God and developed a personal relationship. In his conclusion of the introduction, Sam writes “they are the happiest children whom I have known, and I wish that there were a world full of them growing up to mold the next era of human existence.”
The second half of the book is entitled “The Way -- How Children learn to know God”. In the Second paragraph, Olive Jones tells us “The first priority is to show that spiritual reality is possible for children. Unless it begins in childhood, it is learned and obtained only through suffering and struggle.” The opportunity truly exists to counter the claim that without pain there is little or no gain. We, who have suffered and are continuing to suffer in our quest to solidify our personal relationship with God, delight in the thought that our children need not.
We then come to the principles of the program. They are: prayers, quiet time (meditation), followed by an opportunity to share the thoughts and the directions received during quiet time, stories of others having had a spiritual experience, reading, listening, and memorizing verses in the Bible. (One suggestion is the memorization of the complete beatitudes). Last but not least is that the teacher/parent must have had a spiritual awakening. Olive Jones for her part found her personal religious experience through the fellowship (the Oxford Group) at the Thursday night group meeting at Calvary Church.
This guide book is now available in paperback, and is currently available to teach our children to have a personal Spiritual Experience.