We Clash Over Our Vacations!

Can we ever agree on how to use our time off?

Dear Dr. Langberg,
My parents live out of state, and I like to use our vacation time to visit them. But my husband doesn't enjoy using up our vacation time staying with family members. We only have a limited number of vacation days, and I miss seeing my family. How can we resolve this conflict?

Any marriage is filled with times when compromise is necessary—and this appears to be one of them. The simplest compromise is to alternate years. One year go see your parents, the next plan something your husband would call a true vacation.

You could supplement this compromise by having your parents (or even one of them) visit you sometime during the in-between years. Another way to supplement this is to suggest that the year you don't go see your parents, you be given greater freedom to call them long-distance.

I don't know whether you and your husband both work and have the same vacation limitations. But if you have more flexibility, perhaps during the years you don't see your parents, you could visit them on your own. Such a trip planned over a holiday weekend with just one extra day thrown in wouldn't even require that much time away.

Ideally, your vacation choices—along with everything else in your marriage—should have glimmers of both of you in it. When parts of a marriage consistently look only like one partner, then that couple hasn't learned the art of being one flesh in that area. Work together until you do.

My younger sister, who claims to be a Christian, has started having sex with her boyfriend. My parents aren't Christians and don't seem to care, but I know it's not right. When I confront her with what the Bible says, she tells me I'm too preachy and I don't know what I'm talking about. What can I do?

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