The 10 Commandments For A Young Gentleman
Commandment 1. Don’t flaunt your advantages. A gentleman doesn’t show off who he is, where he went to school, or his net worth. Yea, the bells and smells, the incense and nonsense afforded by certain advantages (earned or otherwise) don’t mean a thing to a gentleman if used as a fig leaf to veil one’s utter lack of character and humility.
Let me make it simple for you. Everything that Hollywood idiots, politicians, Instagram influencers, and Televangelists do, do the opposite, and you will be a very pleasant and epic young man not hiding behind daddy’s cash, mere talent, a Bose voice processor, or fifteen minutes of fame.
A gentleman understands with all the external trappings of success and achievement he can still be a cultural pain in the butt and a horrible person. Therefore, focus not upon dusting up the transient trappings which dazzle the ubiquitous morons but rather pursue the hidden qualities of internal traits which truly make a young man great, at least in God’s eyes. Be known principally for being a good person and not for the stuff you have. Hear me loud and clear: advantages/talent without virtue equals a train wreck.
Commandment 2. Everyone deserves respect until they demonstrate they don’t deserve it. The gentleman believes that all people are created in the image of God and should be treated with respect until that person shows they don’t deserve it.
That means they don’t pout, spit, or drop the F-bomb on their pastors, elders, teachers, or parents.
It’s amazing to watch young kids unleash their venom on their parents and others and then walk away smacking their gum. The gentleman respects parents, old people, teachers, police, peers, and opponents — unless forced, by said person, to do otherwise.
Commandment 3. Titles are important. The gentleman still calls their elders “sir” or “ma’am.” I’ve got friends who have adult children with families of their own who make a very nice living, are close to my age, and still call me “sir.” When the gentleman addresses a man, it is always as “Mr. (last name)” and a woman as “Mrs.” or “Miss (last name)” until they’ve been green-lit to use their first name or nickname.
Commandment 4. Everyone else matters before you do. The gentleman is here to serve, not be served. He does weird stuff like what needs to be done versus being some diva who expects everyone to wait on him. He doesn’t rush an elevator knocking down granny to get on first. When he comes into a situation, he assesses what others might need, not what he can get from people or places.
Commandment 5. Be helpful. The gentleman sees a need, and if he can assist then he helps. A few years ago, I was out in front of a Publix Supermarket and watched a burglary in progress. The guy ran out of the store, cash in hand, with the clerk and security guards chasing him. It looked fun, so I joined in the chase. The clerk and the guard ran out of juice, and I (along with a cop) got to tackle the culprit. Bottom line with those raised as a gentleman is: Whether it’s with tackling a punk or packing a trunk, The gentleman is programmed to H-E-L-P, not hinder.
Commandment 6. Be friendly. A gentleman smiles. He’s not sullen or vexed. He’s not walking around like a brooding snowflake in a pout pretending to be the next angry supermodel. The gentleman says hello and starts friendly conversations. When I take my buddies hunting with me in the South, they’re blown away at how friendly people are. We’ll be driving down a Farm to Market Road in the middle of nowhere, meet a truck coming the opposite direction and our host will wave. Invariably, one of my friends then asks, “Who was that?” and our host replies, “I don’t know.” Then my jaded friends give me a confused look and ask me quietly why he waved. I whisper back, “People down here are friendly … watch out — it might rub off on you.”
Commandment 7. Use the right words. When asked a question, the gentleman doesn’t reply with “Huh?” “What?” or “Yeah.” It’s “Please,” “Thank you” or “Yes or no thank you.” They are gentlemen who respectfully ask and don’t demand.
Commandment 8. Don’t dress like a demon-worshiping, drug-addled, cuckoo bird. Dress sharp, solid, and smart. Send a message to the women out there, by the way you dress, that you’re sophisticated, eloquent, and powerful and you’re not related to Beavis and Butthead, capisce?
Commandment 9. Don’t take nude photos of yourself or make sex tapes. Unless you want a life in the porn industry with all the “perks” of drugs, STDs, crime, and a shattered soul, I’d really think twice about what kind of pictures and videos you have floating around on the internet. Lately, we have seen many people have their careers derailed or their image forever sullied by the bad, bad decision of sex tapes. People warn you that the internet is forever for a reason. These things can damage you for a long, long, long time.
Commandment 10. Learn some cell phone etiquette, please. First off, put your cell phone on vibrate, alright? There’s enough noise pollution in our world without us having to hear your phone blast out hellish music at ear-splitting decibels. Secondly, quit yelling on your phone. Just because you can’t hear yourself in your cell phone’s earpiece doesn’t mean the caller can’t hear you. In addition, by speaking softly we won’t know how shallow and crazy you really are. Thirdly, if you’re going to go nuts on the phone will you walk outside, huh? Fourthly, turn it off during church, okay Lucifer? Fifthly, don’t text while we’re eating dinner. Try this weird anachronistic thing called “conversing with one another.”
* The preceding is from Doug’s new bestseller, Lionhearted: Making Young Christian Males Rowdy Biblical Men. This is a GREAT book for men’s group studies. Also, every 16-25yo Christian male should read this book. It’s pure fire.
Doug Giles is Pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Wimberley, TX, and is the founder of ClashDaily.com (300M+ page views). Giles is also the author of ten, number one, Amazon Bestsellers. Follow Doug on Instagram and on X @TheArtOfDoug.