Part 2. Mud Puddles and Patent Leather Shoes
Or, “You’re not like me.” Innate Differences

A handsome young couple with two children walked out of church just after a rainstorm left several puddles in the parking lot. Their 2-year-old son let go of his mother’s hand and went immediately for the closest puddle. He walked right into it and stamped his feet to splash the water as high as he could. His big sister, dressed smartly in her Sunday dress and patent leather shoes, carefully avoided the puddles.

The embarrassed mother ran to pull the lad out of the puddle. She looked at my wife and, as if to apologize, said: “If there’s a mud puddle anywhere nearby, he will find it.” His father and I smiled at each other because we knew why the little boy headed toward the puddle: he was a boy!

As we walked away, I asked my wife, “Why did the little boy run to the mud puddle, and his sister didn’t?”

She replied firmly, “I have never stepped in a mud puddle on purpose!”

“Well, honey,” I said, “you have never lived!”

This illustrates one of the five forces that can either hinder or enhance togetherness in a relationship: innate differences. It’s this simple: boys do boy things, and girls do girl things in large part because of inherent God-designed differences. Understanding and learning to manage innate differences will enhance your love relationship.

One of the first things a loving couple discovers is that they are not as much alike as they originally thought. They might like the same kind of music, enjoy the same types of foods, or have compatible goals. Still, the constant familiarity of every-day-living inevitably exposes significant differences, many of which are the result of their genetic structure.

I recently re-read Dr. John Gray’s book; Men Are from Mars and Women Are from Venus. Though written in the early 1990s, its pages are filled with illustration after illustration of the timeless differences between the sexes.

Gray says in his introduction, “Not only do men and women communicate differently, but they think, feel, perceive, react, respond, love, need, and appreciate differently. They almost seem to be from different planets, speaking different languages, and needing different nourishment.” And these differences last a lifetime. They can be seen in pre-school playgrounds, busy offices, and homes for senior citizens.

Innate differences are not limited to the differences between the sexes. Schools must have a variety of educational programs to meet the varying needs of their students. Programs for gifted children and the learning disabled are just two examples. Coaches have aspiring athletes run the 40-yard dash to find out who is the fastest. Educators may want every child to be equal, but their wants will not be fulfilled because of innate differences. They will always make smart/dumb comparisons, observe fast/slow learners, and deal with tough/wimpy athletes.

There’s no doubt that the culture facilitates innate differences, however, no culture anywhere at any time has ever been discovered where the men were the primary caregivers of children, and the women went off to war. Innate differences have survived millenniums: Little boys like mud puddles and little girls like patent leather shoes.

Or, as Dr. Gray says, Men are From Venus, Women are From Mars.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ross is an author, speaker, seminar leader, and retired Christian Minister. He is a co-founder of Powerful Seniors. He lives in Loveland, Colo.