You are probably wondering, "What in the world do avocados and bananas have in common?" They are both fruits, but there seem to be a lot more differences between them than things that they have in common. One is yellow, while the other is blackish-green. One has a smooth surface, while the other has a rough texture. One is long and skinny, while the other is short and fat. What about the taste?

Now take the jump with me to our marriage relationships. Have you ever started thinking about all the differences between you and your spouse?

Problems arise when we expect or assume the opposite gender should think, feel, or act the way we do. Imagine if you bite into an avocado and expect it to taste like a banana. Wow, what a shock! You will get the same shock when you buy your wife a vacuum cleaner she really needs for her anniversary — or dare I remind you, for Valentines Day. Yes, we are different types, like avocados and bananas.

Sometimes when we consider the differences between wives and husbands, the differences seem to be staggering. There are personality differences, birth-order differences, personal-history differences, extrovert/introvert differences, and gender differences on top of everything else.

Paul tells the Corinthians, "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many [i.e., different] parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body" (1 Corinthians 12:12 NIV). Many times the differences that we sometimes find perplexing in marriage are the reasons we were originally attracted to one another. The world, and relationships, can be boring when everything is the same.

We must realize not to take these differences as personal attempts to frustrate each other. Our task is to recognize, discuss, understand and act skillfully in light of our differences — whether these differences occur in our church or in our families.

If you find your self thinking that you and your spouse are about as similar as avocados and bananas, then remember the following about the two fruits — by the way, my wife taught me this. When these two very different fruits are put together, they help each other ripen.

Isn't that the very goal in marriage?
Isn't that the very goal in marriage? We are joined together and we can help bring out the best of each other, despite our differences.

There are three things that amaze me — no, four things I do not understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman. (Proverbs 30:18-19 NLT, emphasis added)