Spiritual Practice


Dale Lipscomb and Emma Stewart

Growing up, I felt as if my parents didn’t understand anything I did. After years of fighting and being grounded, I agreed to join them in taking a serious look at our communication styles. We spent a lot of time talking about the issues that led us to fight and about how we could address them so that everyone felt heard and understood.

My mom and I also started keeping a journal together. She would write in it every day; and each night, I would write a response to her entry. In the journal, we would reflect on the times during the day when we communicated well. Plus, Mom would always encourage me and tell me how thankful she was for me.

Let your conversation be always full of grace.
Colossians 4:6a (NIV)

Making the effort to improve communication in our family paid off. We learned that we could disagree without having a horrible argument, and I felt more understood and loved and more comfortable talking with my parents about the big issues.

—Dale Lipscomb, 22


REFLECT: As teenagers, communication is not our forte. We exaggerate, dramatize, whine, and complain more than we would like to admit. Yet communication is key to having healthy relationships with others. If you keep your feelings tucked away, then no one can help you. If you over-exaggerate or dramatize, your real need may go unnoticed. Take the time to talk sincerely with your parents. You may be surprised by the results.

—Emma Stewart, 15

—from devozine (May/June 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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