Men or Trend Pleasers


MEN or TREND Pleasers

Maria Coffman (Mrs. William Coffman) 

The following is a thought provoking letter from one of our readers. Her earnest search for truth amongst our Christian society might be a cry that others have also felt deep inside but haven’t really known how to express.

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I’ve been homeschooling ever since my children were born. This has been something that my family members were sure was just a “passing fancy”… You know, Aunt Martha would whisper to my mother to assure her, “This too would pass.” But it hasn’t passed. It’s deeply imbedded in my heart and hopefully I will be doing this for another 14 years. I guess they think this because I’ve always been “trendy”.

I was in high school when the newest “FAD” was to wear platform shoes and mini skirts. When Elvis was still performing and smile buttons and bead strung curtains were mod. Funny thing, these things are now coming back in “style” and sometimes I feel like I have gone back in time when seeing all the young people in stores wearing flips from orange juice cans and bell bottoms.

I guess I’m from the generation of habitual “passing fads”. We were brought up this way. In grade school trolls and Chinese jump rope were “in”. But where has this “following the leader” trend gone from there?

Today it is apparent that even among the Christian Community there are waves of “trends”. Having been homeschooling for a number of years, it has become noticeable that every year there seems to be a new one.

I know that with myself I went through a period of time when I was so busy going to ladies meeting at the church that I was always leaving my children when they were very young. There were always areas of ministry I would take up with all my other church friends and “blindly” would be neglecting my own husband and children. But everyone I knew was doing this. It wasn’t just me! This is what you DID if you loved God.

After the Lord convicted my husband and myself to start homeschooling I quit working so much at church. I simply transferred this to homeschooling. The gals I knew in our support group were wonderful, but there were so many homeschool support trips planned that our family was always in the car going here and going there that we never had time to home school… But this was just what “WE” did (meaning the group of ladies I associated with).

As the Lord so graciously grew me out of these ways to one where I was more home based I soon ran into another “trend”. That of uniformed “jumper mentality.” Please don’t take offense at me calling it a mentality and hear me out completely, as I still do wear jumpers. It wasn’t the jumpers themselves that was the issue, but rather the “trendy fashion” of all my friends telling me that if one wanted to be “GODLY” that this was the style.

I had never heard of “modesty”… Modesty was simply not undressing in front of someone else. But the gals I ran with showed scripture to me and my daughters, and we truly received this knowledge with all our hearts. Before this I had worn snug fitting blue jeans that would have knocked the socks off of the “blues 509” commercial and now looking back, it probably did all my friend’s husbands at the time too. I wore tight clingy T-shirts, tank tops, and slinky dresses even to church! So God really did a work in my heart and I became more conscious of not being that “woman hear me roar” type to a rather more quiet, subdued, modest type of dresser.

But I followed the crowd. I looked around at all my friends and because they were wearing the fashion of jumpers, just knew it must be the correct thing to do, and promptly went out and bought all the material needed, and started sewing frantically enough jumpers to last an army for all the women in our home.

Over a period of time amongst my homeschooling friends something happened. I watched as this passing fad ended, and many of these well meaning sisters just “dumped” the “dresses” bit. I don’t know if it was because, like me, they had been following the latest fad, but somehow the flow and moved so that now the latest trend is to shear the hair, wear pantsuits and tops and dress like something out of “Seventeen” magazine… Anything but that which would represent the “jumper” philosophy. Jumpers out… Mod in…

I was hurt.

I had just become convicted regarding the modesty issue that I had reasoned out from scriptures, and then somehow it became not Biblically en mode anymore. But God in all his sovereignty was working everything towards good. This very thing caused me to sit up and stop looking around at everyone else and asking all the sisters that I knew of what it was to be “godly” and seek my husband’s wisdom and the Father’s.

I truly believe that my own issue of modesty with God is so intimate that it’s not a “trend” issue. It’s a matter of the heart. I have developed my own belief in what dressing as one who is an ambassador of Christ. I have found it wonderful to be feminine! I love being what God created me to be… A woman! I have found that the most appealing thing to my husband and also that appeals to my own aesthetic taste is rather old-fashioned clothing. It seems the clothing of the past was to enhance the femininity of a woman rather than to “non-gender” her. To relish and embrace being a woman is everything God has put in us. In this femininity I don’t wish to call attention to myself because I’m dressed soooo “modestly”. I don’t believe that calling attention to oneself is modest. Rather the opposite. In a way a bit of showing the world one’s self-righteousness. But, oh, how thrilling it is to be able to be a mother, and wife, and to be able to dress accordingly. I love the way my skirt swishes when I walk with my little ones clinging literally to my apron strings. It’s all about being female!

I’ve come to the point where I’m tired of looking at other people and watching them go through changes and more changes… That, to me, is being a men-pleaser.

My husband has urged us to study together to know what WE believe. That if we were the only people on the face of the earth, with no other people to watch or to have an opinion of us, what would we do? What would be our life-style? No longer men pleasers, (trend pleasers?) but God pleasers in ALL that we do.

Oh, I’ve been so guilty of following the crowd, in my case, the Christian homeschooling crowd. It’s been so disappointing going this way. I’ve started having thoughts because of this habit of “Do people actually BELIEVE anything? Do they ever get above the move of the latest Christian movement and actually hold beliefs of their own?” Truly, I have to look at myself and think, this is what I have been. A MAN pleaser! But what do I REALLY believe? Am I really just a sheep that wants to follow others because I don’t want to miss the ‘truth’ of the newest trend?

I appreciate  learning the history of feminism and the origin of where many of our viewpoints have come from. There is such a big difference of being educated as to where and why we are doing something, rather than to just blindly follow a trend, with little or no knowledge at all.

The Lord is gently leading and guiding and there are so many other “voices” which might hinder us. Those of “fashion”; those of “feminism”; those of “vanity”; those of “pride”; those of worldliness…

God would have us be godly influences to all whom we encounter. I pray that I will be a friend who does not set trends, but rather Biblical convictions that will stand the passage of time, not only in this generation but those also to come.


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