Students today have weakened problem solving skills. They are increasingly unable to find the answers to their questions, resolve their conflicts, overcome obstacles and move forward in relationships, leadership and discipleship when faced with resistance or difficulty of any degree. They are very good at talking about what is wrong or hard or maddening, but often lack the ability to think creatively or strategically about how to make things right or better or a little less crazy. Students come into my office and dump their frustrations and failures out like a box of puzzle pieces and then just look at me. They expect me to tell them what to do, what to say, how to feel, how to pray, but I refuse. Instead, I begin to ask them questions…trying to lead them to their own conclusions, resolutions and epiphanies. This generation craves a quick prescription to fix what ails them, but what they need is for us to teach them how to work it out on their own.
As a part of the emotional development and spiritual formation of our youth, we need to give attention to the importance of problem solving. Consider the wealth of examples in Scripture (Moses, Joseph, Esther, the prophets, the persistent widow, Mary, Peter, Paul, etc.) There is story after story of individuals working and worshipping their way through difficulties, seeking God and solving problems. They do not idle; they pray, they fast, they ask, they plan, they move, they fall, they repent, they persist, and eventually they find their way. These are the models we want to hold up for our youth so they can become the model for the world.
Bro. Trent and Ms. Rebecca