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Investigative Reporter: Amish Courting and Marriage Customs

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Boys and girls begin their search for a spouse when they turn sixteen. By the time a young woman turns twenty or a young man is in his early twenties, he or she is probably looking forward to the wedding day. But several definite steps must be taken by a couple before they may marry. Both must join the Amish church. They are baptized into the Amish faith and are responsible for following the Ordnung.

Is it done? I thought once married they were not permitted to shave their beard. I saw this on National Geographic. It focused primarily on the young couple who had left their Amish community and were planning to retake their marriage vows. They did talk to Mr. Keim and to another family whose son was marrying the girl in the turquoise dress above.

I was extremely disappointed in the entire show. It was not that revealing. Left So much unsaid. Hi Mylene, I have not seen the full program but going by the appearance I would say that the grey-haired gentleman was not actually an Old Order Amish person. I gathered that he was perhaps Mennonite or had Amish roots. As to your question some Amish actually do trim their beards. More conservative Amish are less likely to do so, however.

Beth, good point—and on catching the show, Kim I believe it has already aired but there is another showing Wed Nov 17 at 4pm, according to the site.

She knew young folks in Geauga used bed courtship as their dating method, from sex before they are married, resulting in premarital pregnancies. it is a tradition that always has been as far as the Amish are concerned. Amish Dating Bed Courtship. Amish dating customs help the amish church grow by promoting marrige the amish districts that sanction. Usually, from what I've read and been told, it is a first date, too. I think LeRoy is right: tradition wins out over common sense and moral I read once about an Amish dad who wanted his "old maid" daughter married so badly.

I have not seen the full show, only this clip—did you mean they focused mainly on the Mary Gingerich who is seen in this segment? That seems odd that it would be more about ex-Amish, especially since it is billed as being about the Amish and most of this clip is on the Amish. I particularly found how they addressed bed courtship to be interesting. I know some Amish that are pretty adamant about bed courtship. A subtle point I appreciated was that they noted that after graduating 8th grade, interaction with the opposite sex drops off until joining a youth group.

It is actually something I have not thought of before but I suppose this would be true, at least to a degree-not having the interaction at school though there would still be other venues. Very interesting but it has really left me asking more questions, LOL.

I think the buggies may have been racing as the gentleman with the white hair and beard made reference to racing at the time the clip was being shown. Not really sure of what the couple holding hands is all about. It almost seemed phoney, but at that time the ex Amish girl was saying how hand holding was allowed.

We seem to have a lot of that in public medias today, not just against the Amish but against Christianity in general. I have not see the full show and am only getting these impressions from this small clip. Thanks for sharing Erik!! It will be interesting to see what others feel from this as well. The young lady with the light yellow dress seems so Fashion Forward just look at her sleeves and her boyfriend does as well.

They make a cute couple. Michelle V from FL.

I agree with you Erik. But I sort of got the feeling throughout the clip that it was slanted against the Amish way of life, not just by the ex Amish woman. Like you I can not recall either if it was stated regarding baptism or the time she left the Amish. I hope I can get to see the entire program too. Really one can only speculate based on the small clip.

Casual dating is not permitted, and courting is done with the Most courtships end in marriage, although committing to a courtship does not. Amish dating customs help the Amish Church grow by promoting marrige can be attributed to the ability of the church to promote marriages within the faith. The Amish, by A.M. Aurand, [], full text etext at

Much appreciated Alice and Michelle. I will try to catch this as I can as it would probably be good to see the full program. I think there often is this sort of slant in the media. Restrictions are often given as a reason either before or after the fact.

Amish Courting and Marriage Customs. Jakob Ammann Amish rarely date before the age of 16 and they are never seen in daylight alone. Sunday is the day Amish youth groups gather, and when dating and former Amish elders offer an inside look at an old world ceremony. Tags: Amish Love and Marriage, Dating and Courtship, Kansas Amish, Rumspringa. Amish Weddings – Courtship and Marriage in the Amish Community The fathers then announce the date and time of the wedding and invite the members to.

Quite a bit of talk in that one about Amish and Mennonites, though Burt makes it sound like the Amish and Mennonites developed separately in the old countries. You are right about bed courtship being a practice of the minority. Here is an interesting non-Amish view of the history of bundling. A few generations back it might have been more prevalent. In brief, he says that the practice was picked up in the early days of the American settlements, from their neighbors.

We know that the vices that slowly crept into the churches were surely not brought over to America by those Anabaptist people with high morals who sought to match their conduct and way of behaviour with Scriptural ideals. That holds true until you get into the more liberal groups, where head veilings and plain dress have been dropped. Then you get into pretty much the same values as typical evangelical churches might hold.

Yes, that couple holding hands seems suspect to me as well. Otherwise, it looks like it will be interesting. Beth—good point. But I do think his mentioning it so explicitly was testament to how strong the position is on premarital sex.

Thanks for letting know about the other airtime! I know he was very respected.

Amish dating and marriage customs

They write fairy tales, just as fake as Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. Anonymous, I am sure there are many Englishers who would share your surprise at learning this.

That's why it's so important to be open to the truth-the whole truth--concerning some of the stricter Amish groups. I agree, Karen. The market is responding to the sales--the more people buy the bonnet books, the less publishers are willing to print books which reveal truths.

This is a group of people who need help and prayer, but many think all the Amish have all the answers. So not true. There are people with dark hearts in the Amish, too.

Thanks for your post, Dee. I am still confused as to why Christians elevate the Amish, even to the point of using the Amish lifestyles as models for godly lives.

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Like you, Dee, the more I learn, the more I wonder. I am surprised, and yet not surprised by this. Because they eschew modern conveniences, doesn't mean they're more moral or righteous than anyone.

We have Amish in northeastern NY--it always surprises me to see them smoking or buying junk food in the grocery. But to have your daughter pregnant so she stays Amish is sad. Carol and Alice, you're both right. There is nothing about the Amish that makes them immune from temptation or errors. We truly need to begin looking at them as people first! As my Jewish mother who raised 3 girls would always say " nothing good happens after midnight so make sure you come home before midnight!

When it came time for dating she would say "put a quarter between your knees and don't let it fall to the ground! An historical comment: Up to at least the 20th century, it was common in German rural farm communities for a male suitor to have sex with his fiancee before marriage.

If she got pregnant, he had to marry her - if not, the possible marriage was questioned. The reason?

Amish Weddings – Courtship and Marriage in the Amish Community

If the marriage could not produce children, the family ran the risk of losing their farm if the parents could not produce farm workers - their economy would not allow the expense of hiring them. The Amish are above all farmers - perhaps they inherited a similar practice from their Dutch heritage.

It is possible to have those historical influences still apparent among the Amish because they are all about the "forefathers" and tradition. Unquestioning obedience is the reason given for most things which are seemingly inexplicable and contrary to their "Christian" POV.

I jioned the Amishswartzentruber, I was passing out and talking against the bed courtship,started a group of young people that were not doing the preacher's found out, said we have to do it, because is an old custom and tradition do not want to change, I said I will not help with communion until they allowed to do at the Bible teaches, they gave me two weeks to say sorry for having brought the subject up never bring it up again and promise to do as they did, I could not do this I was banned two weeks later.

I still like the Amish Way of life and live that way but not bed courtship if I had children I would not want them doing bed courtship is too much of a temptation.

Thank you for sharing your experience, David. Many other former Amish have felt the same way and have left because of bed courtship.

I read that they started doing bed courtship because it was the only warm place in the house in the late evening. That way they could talk comfortably under the covers fully dressed. Linda, in theory that is what even our pioneer ancestors tried thus the "bundling board" which was supposed to guarantee no monkey shines going onhowever, as you can read from the comments posted here, the strict Amish groups have strayed beyond the bundling board concept.

She really shares some thoughts about her days of bed courstship. Yes, I know I have a minor in German :. But among the Amish, the word "Dutch" is used like slang--short for Pennsylvania-Dutch, which is derived from the word "Deitch", which was derived from the German word for German which is Deutch, as you pointed out.

But it does confuse English folks who first think of the word "Dutch" as being folks from the Netherlands. But then there was a schism, and, well, the Mennonites and Amish were born.

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