Comment on So you want to join the Amish by Daryl.
Being Amish is not just about being religious or about being different from the world, it is a way of life that an outsider will always be running to catch up with. There are nuances that one has to be raised with to truly understand and what the Amish take for granted and obvious may be totally foreign for an outsider and can cause frustration for both sides. But having said that, it is possible to become plain with persistance. How long it will take depends on the person.
The most important thing for outsiders to bear in mind, is that they do not have an opinion. God had an opinion and expressed it in the Bible for us to follow without question. And where God has not given a direct opinion, the elders and minister/bishop will. What you think or feel about an issue or interpretation of scripture will not be asked for or welcomed. All that is required of you as a faithful member is obedience.
This is the hardest thing for people raised in a english culture which teaches them to speak up and express themselves, that says that they have a right to an opinion. Sorry this is not the plain way.
First step to joining is to start on your personal life before even attempting to make contact with a plain community. If you can follow the following for six months, then we can move onto the second step.
Get rid of the following items in your personal surroundings. Your TV, DVD, radio, paintings on walls, displayed photos, all carvings, sculpture and statues. Next get rid of all immodest and worldly clothes, secular music, magazines and books. Cancel all worldly subscriptions. For women stop wearing make-up, dying the hair, all jewelery, cut long nails short and no nail polish. Don’t worry about a head covering yet, that will come.
Women to wear only long dresses and keep shoulders covered, men no T-shirts or short pants, only lounge shirts and long pants. And no socializing or partying with non-plain friends at worldly places like bars or clubs, even for their birthday. No going to movies or other places of worldly entertainment like fun parks, theater, amuzement arcades, country clubs, etc.
If after living plainish in your personal life for six months you still want to continue, it is time to attend weekly worship at your nearest plain church (Brethren, Mennonite, Charityite, etc.) that covers and sings hymns a cappella. By now being plain should be second nature and women can start covering full time.
After six months of worshipping at a plain church and being exposed in a greater depth to a plain lifestyle, one will be in a position to decide if one wants to go to the next step of giving up electricity and any other modern appliances still left in ones life and move to an area where the Amish live and attend their church, or stay where one is at. The novice year is over, some of the worldly contamination and desires have been washed away.
Satin the pre-first step for you is to move out from living with your boyfriend. Unmarried people of the opposite sex living together, even in innocence, is totally not allowed.
God’s blessings on all who try, for without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to assist in this endevor, one will not succeed as the flesh will rebel. That is the whole purpose of plain living, to separate the goats from the sheep, to separate those who cannot control their worldly desires and lusts of the flesh from those who can, to separate those who will not submit to God’s will, to the yoke of heaven, from those who can.
Many are called but few are chosen.