This document is entitled “Rules for the Making of a Man.” These “rules” were written by my grandfather, Elmer S. Yoder. He wrote this document when he was 16, which would have been in either 1941 or 1942. My grandfather had a very conservative background, which influence can be seen in these 63 rules. He never specifically quotes the Bible, although he often refers to Biblical principles. While you may not agree with everything he says, this is a remarkable document for a 16 year-old and contains much wisdom which we would do well to heed.
Rules for the Making of a Man
1. Be a living testimony for Christ.
2. Prove your words by deeds and your deeds by words.
3. Do not loaf.
4. Make good use of spare time.
5. Think about things worthwhile.
6. Do not be bashful.
7. Do not argue.
8. Do not be afraid to state the truth.
9. Do not become aroused or despondent in any extreme. Keep cool at all times and have a bright outlook on life.
10. Be on time and meet all appointments promptly.
11. Be true to your word.
12. Use good, correct English. Do not make Christianity appear old-fashioned by careless use of English.
13. Be sympathetic.
14. Do not use by-words or any expressions with the appearance of evil.
15. Dress neatly.
16. Always keep clean, even though you don’t have the best of clothes.
17. Respect another’s viewpoint.
18. Be able to learn from mistakes.
19. If you have wronged, admit it immediately, don’t try to hide under lies, because someday, sometime, the truth will come to light.
20. Don’t gossip.
21. Talk less and say more.
22. Keep good posture.
23. Always be ready to help someone in trouble.
24. Try to learn and remember something new every day.
25. Never cheat.
26. Do your own work and never expect favors from other people, but be ready to do favors.
27. Don’t say you can’t, but say I’ll try.
28. Be strictly honest in all deals.
29. Never call your father, “the old man.”
30. Be kind to your brothers and sisters.
31. Prove that you love your mother.
32. Be faithful in small things, so that you will be prepared and entrusted to shoulder larger ones.
33. Have a purpose and aim in life.
34. Don’t try to appear a man by showing off, but be a man in the true sense.
35. Don’t do anything just so you will be honored.
36. Be ready and willing to be the door mat as well as the leader in an organization.
37. Respect authority.
38. Never promise more than what you can do.
39. Don’t highly exalt one’s plans and condemn another’s.
40. Be reverent.
41. Never try to make yourself appear superior to your friends or foes.
42. Be man enough to say “No” to the enticing of sinners.
43. Be considerate to the feeble minded.
44. Don’t be afraid to help your parents.
45. Be ready to help the aged wherever you can and wherever you may be.
46. Don’t shirk when duty calls.
47. Take interest in something of value that will be a help to you throughout life.
48. Be thrifty.
49. Adopt as yours the motto or slogan “pay as you go,” even though that means that maybe you won’t have the latest in cars or conveniences.
50. Support the Lord’s work.
51. Learn to spend wisely as well as to save.
52. Pay yourself out of your earnings by putting as much as possible away for the rainy day.
53. Try hard to strike the golden medium, and steer clear of being a miser or a person who can’t keep money.
54. Learn to rule the money, and don’t let the money rule you.
55. Don’t call girls sissies.
56. Respect the girls, and realize that God created them as well as man, and that although they don’t have a man’s muscles and mind, they excel in the finer qualities.
57. Don’t appear to be silly.
58. Be a man and don’t be teasing and pestering others.
59. Be courteous.
60. Introduce yourself to strangers in your church or community, if others don’t introduce you.
61. Make strangers feel welcome in your home.
62. When you have company, conduct yourselves in such a way that your parents want them to come again.
63. Don’t brag.