Thinking Ahead


‘We didn’t get out soon enough.’

In an article (no longer online) from the Toledo Blade, an Amish patriarch talks about moving from a liberal settlement to a more conservative one.

This grandfather of 82 laments losing his two oldest boys to the world.  Had the family moved sooner, they may have avoided the influences that caused his sons to leave the faith.

The Amish think one or two or more generations ahead.

An Ohio Amish minister once explained:  ‘I have nothing against Catholics, Mennonites, other religions.  I could even be Mennonite for example, it wouldn’t be a big deal.  But then what happens later on down the line?  Maybe for my kids or grandkids, divorce will be okay.’

This is why owning television and cars are off limits.  Not because they’re evil–they’re not–but because of what possessing them might lead to.

The Amish parent takes on a mighty responsibility–not only for his or her own soul, or the childrens’, but for all the others’ yet to come.

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    1. Mary

      This Amish patriarch talks about leaving “the faith” — my question is, “what faith?” The “Amish faith?” If so there should be a thorough explanation what “Amish faith” is.

      I grew up Amish and the problem is just that — “Amish faith.” It’s a faith in rules and regulations and “ancestor worship.” I was baptized on the confession of my faith and what does that entail? It means one confesses to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That’s great, but there’s more to the Christian faith than believing IN Him, it means having a personal relationship WITH Him.

      They are afraid that their children might move out into the world. The truth of the matter is that though their children may not “look” like the world, worldliness is not just a matter of externals, it’s a matter of the heart. There are many people in the Amish that may not “look” worldly, but in their hearts are very worldly. The Amish are afraid that their descendants might come to believe in divorce. Again perhaps we need to define divorce. Or perhaps we need to define marriage. A true marriage is more than two people living in the same house, eating at the same table, and sleeping in the same bed; it’s communicating, forbearing, loving, and so much more. There are many people living together in the same house because they’ve said their vows, but that’s where it all ends — let’s face it — there are many divorces in the Amish — they just don’t have the legal papers to show it. I know, I’ve watched it many times.

      There are many wonderful things about the Amish, but don’t forget, they are people first. They really are no different than the rest of humankind. They struggle with everything the rest of the world struggles with. It’s just not as obvious. That does not make it any less wrong.

    2. Les M

      The same personality types that leave the Amish faith are basically what characterizes those who escaped from Eastern Europe during the Cold War, from Cuba even up to today, etc. The fact is, most humans are sheep, eaget to follow the leader and less willing to think for themselves. That MAJORITY is perfectly content remaining Amish (or living under authoritarian governments, etc). It is only the minority whose minds prevent them from following meekly along. But looking at the big picture, is the best society that which caters so well for the MAJORITY SHEEP? Or the one that caters for the MINORITY rebels? The two aren’t mutually exclusive… often systems that favour the minority rebels cause great problems for the majority sheep.

      And so it goes….

    3. Theresa

      Mary~every post that I read of yours helps me to understand the Amish and their culture a little more. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and enlightening many of us to open our minds of Amish world vs. English world.
      Again, I would love to have you as a friend (ie penpal). If you wouldn’t mind please feel free to contact me @

      Honestly, I am just a southern Alabama lady with a curious heart/mind :}