Mona asks…

Do you have a dog? If so does it stay in the house? Are animals allowed to live in Amish homes?

My family does not have a dog. We used to have one but she died of old age. We don’t have time to properly train a dog, therefore we don’t have one now. While we still had our dog, she slept in our entryway, otherwise she was outside except on very cold days.

We Amish do not have anything against animals in the house. In fact it is fairly common to see house dogs in Amish homes. Stock dogs are seen on many farms because they are a great help in herding livestock. These dogs generally sleep in the barn where they are nice and warm. One reason you may not see as many animals in Amish homes is because of the extra cleaning, allergies, etc. that goes along with the animals.

Sheryl asks…

I am a stay-at-home wife and mother on a quest to become an Amish woman in her early 50’s. What is the minimal wardrobe I should have?  I feel two of each item of clothing?  In this way, I would have one to wear, while I am washing the other.

I am sure two of each item of clothing would do as the minimal amount needed. I think you would find it more comfortable if you had a few more changes of clothing.

I do have a few questions for you. Why do you want to be Amish? Do your husband and children plan to join you on this quest? Family is very important to the Amish. Many of our guidelines are aimed at preserving family. If you are seeking to simplify your life, you can do that without becoming Amish. Being Amish is more than just dressing and living your life in a simple way. As a member of the Amish church you seek to become as close to God as possible. To do so means to deny yourself (self-will) and your desires. Seek to put God first in all you do, others next, and yourself last. The Amish life isn’t full of romantic, idealistic fluff, nor is it constant strife and suffering as sometimes portrayed in the media. It is hard work and enjoyment with family and friends. Our lives are as full of problems and temptations as anyone else’s. It is just that we choose to turn to God for help. Anyone can do that being Amish or non-Amish.

Shawn asks…

I am curious to know how to go about becoming Amish. Some have told me that I would not do well in an Amish community because I have grown up in the modern world. Honestly I believe this world is not a place I want to continue the rest of my life in and when I consider how the Amish are living and doing things; I feel I should have had a choice in the matter. I did not willingly choose the life I was given. What are your thoughts on all this?

If you sincerely wish to become Amish, because you think God is pointing you in that direction, I would suggest talking to an Amish bishop or minister to find out what is expected of you as a church member. Then spend a few years living in the community as the Amish do. Learn the language and the customs for at least three to four years. After this time you will have a fuller understanding of the choice you will be making.

If you still wish to be Amish, you can join the church to become a member. It is an extremely sad hardship for the Amish community when people join in haste and later leave. Once you commit to being a member (committing to serve Christ with all your heart, soul, mind and strength), you are bound to that promise for life. You promise God and the church to be an upstanding member, doing all you can for the good of the church with the help of God.

P.S. – None of us choose where we are born, or to whom. God puts us where he wants us and He makes no mistakes. Perhaps that is why the Apostle Paul wrote: “…for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phillipians 4:11) Of course that doesn’t mean we should go on living a sinful life, but to bloom where we are planted.