Compliment Green Light

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.

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4 Responses to “Compliment Green Light”


  1. 1 Sanna October 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    To the pure all things are pure, but I can see how *for me* this would become an issue of vanity, even Pharisaism…
    If I ever knew what was good for me, I would try and avoid seeming to be cliqueishly dressed outside of a formal church context. (Even so, I don’t mean to dress cliqueishly in church contexts: I only mean that there is a level of acceptance of things like headscarves.)
    On the other hand, community is a good thing, however it is found.

    Remember the Quaker days, and the eternal dilemma of whether or not it was prideful to wear Plain?

    Just thinking in type 🙂 It’s great that you’re pursuing this with your whole heart.

    xx

  2. 2 Michelle Therese October 7, 2009 at 4:12 am

    I used to cut myself down when people gave me a compliment. But I realized that I was being rude and selfish! So now I look the person in the eye and say, truthfully, “Thank you! What a nice thing to say!”

  3. 3 samantharoyce October 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    I’m always a little embarrassed when another woman at church compliments me on my headcovering. I’ve had a couple of ladies come up to me and actually thank me for wearing one. One woman was very pleased because she was an older lady who had grown up at a time when women were required to cover. I have to be very careful though that I don’t become too prideful and/or vain about wearing one.

  4. 4 kazari October 28, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Don’t assume that another woman, dressed differently from you, does not appreciate the value system behind it.
    My idea of modest dress differs from yours, but I understand and appreciate the why’s behind your choices, even if I don’t share them.

    Of course, I understand that such a compliment would feel more meaningful coming from someone with visibly similar values : )


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