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The 4 Core Values of the Amish Culture
The core Amish values are to lead a simple life of faith. The Amish believe that their religious faith and the way they choose to live are interdependent. These core beliefs lead to a very strong set of values of faith, family, community, and a simple unworldly life. In this blog post, we will explore these four core values of the Amish lifestyle.
Faith is the cornerstone of Amish life. Religious customs are endowed with the values of humility and simplicity and putting God and community ahead of the individual. Their religious beliefs call them to live a life of faith, discipline, dedication, and humility. Amish attend church every other Sunday in a church members’ home. The service acts as a renewal of faith and an affirmation of community. The Amish community governs itself strictly and baptized members are morally committed to church rules. For them, life is a spiritual activity, and they demonstrate their religious beliefs daily through their own actions of discipleship, plainness, nonresistance, forgiveness, and non-violence.
Family is the heart of the community and is a very important social unit in the Amish culture. Amish place great value on time spent together as a family and their connection with each other. They run family businesses together, eat meals together, attend church services, barn-raisings, and other community events together. It’s not unusual for an Amish family to have seven to ten children. You’ll often see young children helping at market stands, picking corn, or tending to animals. Amish families approach life as a unit and children learn a strong work ethic from the very beginning.
The dedication to family continues with older family members. Wisdom from older Amish is valued by the young and often multiple generations live together to either help care for aging family members and/or help with the rearing of children. These large multi-generational family units contribute to the strength and growth of the extended family and ultimately to their community.
The spirit of the Amish lifestyle is exhibited through their strong sense of dedication and love for their church communities. They believe that community is at the heart of their life and faith and that the way to salvation is to live as a loving community separate from the world.
Since the Amish separate themselves from the rest of society, their communities are a unique support system. Community members will freely give of their time and their skills to help one another. A good example of community support is an Amish barn raising. The community comes together to help a family build a barn. The effort often involves several men who build the barn, as well as many women who feed the workers. These barns are a steadfast reminder of Amish tradition, community, and craft coming together to work as one.
Whether it’s raising a barn, offering wisdom to fellow community members, consoling a family that is suffering a loss, or providing financial assistance, the members of the community support each other. Dependence on the church community is very strong, and church members are urged to help each other in everyday life and in times of difficulty or disaster.
The most obvious trait of the Amish community is that they choose to lead a simple life. But the reason they do this is because they believe simplicity is a symbol of humility. They take seriously the Biblical commands to separate themselves from worldly things.
Often the first thing that identifies the Amish is the way they dress. Amish fashion styles are simple, practical, and modest. Clothing is generally made at home using plain fabrics. Their choice of clothing shows their commitment to the principles of the Amish church – to live simply.
Despite the many advancements in our society, the Amish do not typically utilize modern or worldly things like electricity, technology, vehicles, and other modern conveniences that many of us depend on for our daily lives. They believe worldliness can keep them from being close to God which could present influences that may be destructive to their communities and their way of life. By living simply and restricting access to unnecessary items, such as fancy clothes, TV, or iPhones, the Amish feel they can keep the modern world from intruding into their lives and allow them to remain focused on their faith and family.
By following the four principle values of faith, family, community, and living a simple and modest life, the Amish live out their own religious beliefs and lead a unique life in their own spiritual way. For an authentic look at Amish culture, check out our various tour options.