Today at church, our pastor preached on church discipline. I was not too interested, but the sermon was well done, and really short (15 minutes). As a finishing touch, he had a newer couple in the church come up and share a testimony. It definitely took a lot of courage for them to share their story.
They had an ideal marriage, 17+ years, and then the husband had an affair. It has now been a year since they have started working through the issues. The forgiveness the wife had for her husband was incredible, and their openness about struggling with all of this was really, really good to see. The church body was not condemning in any way to them, and the entire situation was something I would love to see a whole lot more of.
THAT is what church is supposed to be. People coming alongside of others who openly admit that they have a problem and getting compassionate help that really makes a difference. I want to belong to a church that is not superficial any longer. I am tired of "happy plastic people" (Casting Crowns) who put on a happy face and pretend nothing is wrong. That's one reason I love my small group. I'm still not completely comfortable sharing a lot of things there, but it's getting better, and I love the community aspect. That's what church needs to be as well. I believe it can be that way, if we all can get over our pride issues and just be real with each other.
/Soap box. :P