Religion, more so Christianity, is one of the pillars on which the Amish community is based.
From an outside perspective, many of the Amish beliefs are considered archaic, and it is easy to assume many things about them, such as they are allowed to practice polygamy.
However, according to the Bible, marriage is designed to be shared between one man and one woman, and the Amish take this very seriously.
Therefore, the Amish do not practice polygamy, and men are not allowed to marry more than one wife. In an Amish marriage, the man and the woman have distinct traditional roles, such as the man providing for the family while the woman takes care of the family.
Also, there are different rules that govern Amish marriages and the different things that are expected of the husband and wife.
Interestingly it is important to note that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Amish marriages.
Are Amish marriages arranged?
Marriage is highly encouraged and expected within the Amish communities, but it is in no way arranged.
The Amish are allowed to freely choose their spouses, but they both have to be members of the church where they plan to have their wedding and serve as a married couple.
Also, they must be baptized and considered full members of the church before marrying. The Amish are also allowed to have a wedding ceremony to celebrate the newly founded union, and most weddings happen between the months of October to Mid-March.
This is considered the best time to have a wedding because there is little to no farm work during this time, and there the community can take the free time to participate in the wedding ceremonies.
Also, the couples are encouraged to get married on Tuesdays and Thursdays because the bench wagons are available on these days.
Amish View on Divorce
From a religious perspective, marriage is for life, which is the same sentiment held by the Amish. In Amish communities, divorce is highly frowned upon and discouraged.
This is not to say that separation and divorce don't happen, it does but after a lot of intervention from the church and the community.
When a couple is going through a tumultuous time, they are encouraged to seek help from their church which helps in advising them and guiding them through their marital journey.
By the time a couple divorces, the church has conducted as much intervention as humanly possible to prevent it. This leads to the question of whether or not separated/divorced Amish are allowed to remarry?
Since divorce is shunned in the Amish community, so is remarriage if the spouse is alive, as this would be considered adultery.
Remarriage is only permitted when a spouse is dead; there are many blended families in the Amish communities.
Can an Amish marry an Outsider?
Marrying an outsider is not commonplace in the Amish community; however, in rare cases, it does happen once the outsider has met certain stipulations.
Once an Amish has fallen in love with an outsider, the situation can go one of two ways, either the outsider joins the Amish and gets baptized in an Amish church, or the Amish foregoes their religion, gets shunned, and leaves the Amish community.
For the outsider to become Amish, they have to live in an Amish community for at least a year.
During which they attend church every Sunday, live the Amish way, and learn different traditions, history, and ethics of the Amish.
They should also find an Amish sponsor who will support their journey of becoming Amish, and once they are voted in by the church members, they are then baptized to become Amish.
After this, the outsider is now considered Amish, and they can freely marry within the Amish community.
Is Sex Before Marriage Allowed?
Just like in many communities, sex before marriage is frowned upon in the Amish community.
Any sexual or physical interaction between unmarried couples is highly discouraged, even during courtship.
During courtship, the most the couple is allowed to do is lie on the same bed with a big board separating them so that they can get to talk and get to know each other better.
Something as simple as kissing is only allowed after the groom's parents have met the bride's parents, which is an indication that the deal is signed.
However, there have been instances where sex before marriage has happened. In these situations, the church interferes in offering guidance to the couple.
What happens when a husband or wife cheats?
In religion, cheating is considered adultery and highly discouraged and frowned upon. This is no different when it comes to the Amish.
When a spouse cheats, it is considered disrespectful to their spouse, community, and God. The cheater is required to make amends.
The adulterer is often required to change their ways in order to be considered a part of the community again.
Those that cheat numerous times are often shunned and excommunicated from the rest of the community, which is usually the most extreme form of punishment.
If the person they cheated with is married and a member of the Amish community, they also face some repercussions in an attempt to make them change their ways and live in a way that reflects their norms and beliefs.
At the same time, the spouse that got cheated on is encouraged to forgive since this is what religion advocates for.
What does an Amish wedding look like?
Weddings differ from one community to another. Many modern weddings are marked by a white gown, flowers, dancing, food, bridesmaids, and groomsmen.
This has some similarities to an Amish wedding, but not many. The bride wears a simple, handmade, calf-length dress that is usually in plain colors such as blue, purple, or black and does not wear a veil, as is the norm with a modern bride.
Both the bride and groom have the equivalent of bridesmaids and groomsmen known as newehockers or side sitters, but there aren't any best men and maids of honor since they are all considered equal.
The ceremony is usually held in the bride's compound, and it is usually made up of sermons, hymns, and counseling from a church minister for the bride and groom privately.
The wedding celebrations are usually long, with some lasting even a long day during which community and church members help with chores to help in the smooth running of the wedding ceremony.
What next after the wedding?
The wedding night is usually spent in the bride's compound as the couple is expected to participate in the clean-up the next day.
After this, the next couple of weeks are spent visiting the friends and family that attended the wedding and thanking them in person during which they receive their presents.
During this time, the newlyweds live in the bride's home before they can manage to set up their own home where they will raise their family.
The bride usually wears her wedding dress to other events, especially church services, since it is just a normal dress and quite practical.
The groom is expected to grow a beard after the wedding to signify that he is married and out of the dating pool. If the bride is working a regular job, she will keep working for a short while before she quits to start and take care of a family.
Do the Amish allow Same-sex marriage?
Same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ community have been at the forefront of mainstream media in the last several years.
This community has garnered a lot of support and has had many legislations changed in their favor but this is not the case in the Amish community.
The LGBTQ community is shunned in the Amish communities are same-sex marriages are considered taboo.
Any Amish member that is found to engage in any LGBTQ-related activity is admonished or kicked out of the community. The Amish community is one of the communities in the US whose views about the LGBTQ community have not evolved.
The Amish view of marriage is based on religion; therefore, same-sex marriages are ungodly. So much so that Amish members are not allowed to render services such as baking wedding cakes or making Amish furniture for same-sex couples.
What is Amish marriage like?
An Amish marriage has a traditional setting where the man goes to work and provides for his family while the woman stays at home to take care of the children and the home.
A married Amish woman isn't allowed to work outside the home. This displays a weakness of the man of the house.
However, if all the children are out of the house, such as in school, most of the day, then the wife is allowed to run a small business.
She can operate a venture from the house or in a building on the same property as her matrimonial homes, such as knitting or baking.
Also, the Amish are against contraception use their Amish families are usually significantly large.