My husband and I are in the process of looking for a new church.
This has not been a decision we've made lightly. My husband and at met at our current church 15 years ago. We have many friends there and are surrounded by people who knew us back when we were awkward and making some questionable fashion choices. Many of the babies we used to care for on Sunday mornings have grown into teens, and they now care for my kids while I attend "big church." We are known and we know others. It's a very comfortable church for us to attend.
When my husband and I moved back to Kansas City after a couple years away, we decided to return to the church we'd grown up in. We knew it had problems, but we felt all churches did, and that we could accept these. Now, 3 1/2 years later, some other problems have come to our attention - glaring ones that we feel wrong ignoring. And after 6 months of wrestling with what God wanted us to do in this situation, we chose to look for another church.
When we've told our friends at church, their response has been very interesting. The first thing many of them have said is, "You know, there's no perfect church."
I've found myself feeling insulted by this. It's not like we're known church-hoppers. In some ways I think it's good that there's a general acceptance (at least among our friends) that there's no perfect church out there. It's good to realize that church is made of people and people are imperfect. But I also think it can become an excuse to turn away and ignore behaviors and habits and decisions the church is making that clearly go against what the Bible teaches.
Same with relationships. I have often put up with toxic relationships much longer than I should have because I told myself there were no perfect people. I have watched others marry simply because they were scared they would never find someone else. "No one's perfect," they say. "There's no reason to think I won't be as happy with this flawed person as I would any other."
Again, it's good to be mindful that people aren't perfect, that you'll never find the "perfect" friend or the "perfect husband" or the "perfect" church. But I think by staying in open communication with God you can find the right friends, the right husband, and the right community of believers for you.
Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers and does so on her blog www.GoTeenWriters.com. To connect with Stephanie and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com.