I like compliments, both giving and receiving. I wasn’t always comfortable with the receiving part. Early on in my modesty journey, I had the nagging thought that people gave me compliments out of pity: “Let’s say something nice about her new skirt, even though we know she is a religious nut job.”
These days, since moving to Virginia, I am veritably surrounded by friends (with an s, as in, more than one!) who take modesty seriously. How is a compliment different between people who have different or similar values?
Let’s take the differing scenario first. Person A gives Religously dressed Person B a compliment on her dress. They may never choose to wear that style or even a dress at all (assuming Persons involved are women). They might like the print or the flattering cut or think its just “nice”. What Person A is admiring is the externalities of the dress. There is no shared bond between the Persons behind the choice of a dress over pants or a headscarf over nothing.
In the next scenario, both ladies are of the same value system, i.e., wearing modest feminine clothing and maybe a headcovering is a good thing. I give Sharon a compliment on her new headscarf. I notice the color is becoming to her. But this is not all. She and I know that I am also praising her willingness in wearing a scarf. We are bound together on more than sheer opinion.
Go, dear women, and compliment freely! It builds us up towards good works.