It just seems like I am having the same conversations with my kids day after day on a few key topics. I don’t know if all kids struggle as much as mine do with remembering that couches are for sitting on and are not indoor trampolines, but couch behavior is one of those topics I just have to keep reminding them about. Just the other day I said to Josh, “Josh, please stop jumping from couch to couch. I shouldn’t have to say that every day.” I think he knew I was getting pretty irritated and he was hoping to pacify me so he said, “Mommy, were there couches in the orphanage? In Liberia?” I wasn’t sure where he was going with this, but I tried to remember our brief tour of the orphanage where he spent the first ten months of his life prior to his adoption. I answered him truthfully- “Well, I don’t remember seeing any couches in the orphanage.” He thought about that for a moment and said, “That is why I don’t know how to behave on couches. I just didn’t have any couches in Liberia when I was a baby and I’m not used to them yet.” Nice try, Josh.
But isn’t that instinct in all of us? Wouldn’t we like to look at the mistakes we’re currently making and blame them on our histories? Of course, just like Josh’s life will always be effected by his time in Liberia, our histories have far-reaching impact. Sometimes it seems tough to let go of the hold the past can have on us and take responsibility for what’s happening today. I’m thankful that through the forgiveness I’ve received in Christ, God isn’t holding against me the past I may still feel shame or regret about. I can live freely the great life God has planned for me. So in light of the grace that’s been extended to me, I probably ought to extend a little grace to a frequent couch-jumping son of mine even if his lack of couch experience in Africa doesn’t excuse his misbehavior.