Amish Rules Guide (what are Amish rules+ Punishment for breaking Amish rules)

As a long-time Christian and theologian, I have encountered several Christian groups, the Amish being one of them. I was fascinated with how this religious group conducts their lives. My first interaction with them was when I visited Canada during one of my tours. Since it was a learning tour, I visited the Amish community and interacted with some of their members. I discovered that this Christian sect prefers the old-fashioned way of living and has refused to be carried away by the current technological trend. Just a few days ago, a member of my online forum, where we discuss the different Christian groups, asked why the Amish do not use technology. Another member asked about the Amish dress code. The questions about this religious group kept coming. Based on my extensive research and interactions with the Amish community, I took the forum members through the rules governing the Amish. So, what are Amish rules?

The Amish have a variety of rules that govern the different members of the community. For example, women are required to have a meek spirit and dress modestly, submit to their husbands, nurture the young girls in the family, and not take up any leadership rules. The Amish men are required to be leaders and actively participate in the community, make decisions, and provide for their families. Children are expected to respect their elders, be they parents or community elders.

So, join me as I expound more on the rules governing women, kids, and men in the Amish community. I will also discuss their rules regarding work, technology, education, courtship, marriage, and the punishments if you break them. Keep reading to learn more.

Amish rules for women

Amish Rules Guide
Amish rules for women. Image source: Freepik

Women play a key role in Amish society as they are in charge of the daily running of Amish homes and families. Therefore, they have a unique and strict set of rules to adhere to. Some of the notable rules Amish women need to abide by include;


Dressing in Amish is more than covering their bodies as it is a symbol of submission among the women and also a symbol of identity. Amish women are expected to dress modestly and simply at all times. They are required to dress in clothes made with natural fabrics like cotton and wool. Furthermore, their dresses or skirts should be long enough to cover their legs and arms. Amish women must also stick to subdued colors like grey, black, or blue, as Amish believe that dressing in clothes with many patterns and colors is vanity.

As mentioned above, the Amish discourage using current technological trends. Therefore, their women are encouraged to make clothes for themselves without using sewing machines. Amish laws bar them from buying clothes from the stores. And when going to church, every Amish woman should cover their head with a bonnet; married women use black bonnets while the unmarried put on white ones. They must also have a quiet spirit and not wear makeup or jewelry, or anything that might draw attention to them.

Family care

Amish women are mainly mothers and homemakers in the family. Their responsibility is to take care of children, sew, clean, cook, and basically ensure that the household is running. They are also expected to give a hand when it comes to farm chores like gathering eggs and milking cows. During the summer, you are most likely to come across several Amish women washing clothes in the river or with harvesting baskets if it’s during autumn.

Role in society

In society, Amish women are nurturers. Other than cooking, cleaning, and ensuring the household is running, Amish women are required to pass these skills down to their daughters. You will get them teaching their daughters useful skills like crafting picnic boxes, wicker dog baskets, vintage bread boxes, and even file baskets. Many Amish women actually have expert-level skills in crafting.

Additionally, Amish women find great joy in quilting. This is a popular activity amongst them, and some even participate in competitions requiring them to showcase their quilting skills. These quilts are usually stitched by hand and are not only used for warmth but also displayed as works of art. The Amish community emphasizes community living and thus encourages their women to socialize with each other.

Submission to their husbands

The Amish people adhere to the Bible regarding submission. According to Ephesians 5:22-24, wives are expected to submit to their husbands. However, this is not to mean that they are viewed as second-class citizens. They are considered to be of high value and worth, just like their husbands, but are expected to with the opinions and decisions of their husbands.

The submission principle is a core part of Amish families as it ensures wives and husbands work as a team and maintains harmony and order in the family. This principle might be outdated to many communities and people, but it enables the Amish community to function smoothly.

Making dolls

Another popular activity that you will notice among Amish women is making dolls. Amish dolls are simply made with cloth, wool, or cotton. Their dolls are of simple design and do not have any facial features because the Amish people believe that we are made in the image and likeness of God, and giving the dolls facial features is a sin since the Bible is against graven images. These dolls are made for fun and used as lesson props for young girls. They are used to teach girls about life stages like infancy and also model them to be good mothers and wives.


When it comes to hair, the Amish adhere to the biblical verse 1 Corinthians 11:15, which notes that a woman’s hair is her glory and therefore do not allow their women to cut hair. When at home, Amish women are required to hold their hair pulled back in a braid or bun but ensure the front is left loose. And when outside the house or going to church, they must have their hair covered with either a bonnet or scarf. The Amish practice these rules to discourage vanity in the appearance of women.

Leadership in Church

Another key rule among the Amish is that their women cannot hold leadership roles in the church, like being bishops and ministers, based on 1 Timothy 2:12. However, they are allowed to partake in other roles in the church, like singing in the choir, teaching in the Sunday school, and also participate in committees that deal with planning and executing church events. However, though the Amish men make decisions in the church and society, women’s opinions are valued and respected. The Amish believe that a man and a woman are equal in God’s eyes.

Amish rules for men

what are Amish rules?
Amish rules for men. Image source: Pinterest


Amish men have rules regarding dressing just like their women. They are not allowed to dress in flashy clothes that attract attention. This includes ornaments, clothes with logos, or clothes in bright colors. Their dressing should also not be revealing or fit too tight. You will find most Amish men in straw hats and dark suits paired up with suspenders. Though they cannot have mustaches, they can keep beards after marrying.


Amish men are leaders in society, in church, family, and the community. In church, they make up the deacons, ministers, and bishops. The church is a huge part of how the Amish community runs, and the men are expected to be active and take up involved roles.

In the community, the men take up leadership roles, like being a part of the school boards and leading the community at large. Furthermore, they are expected to be active in the community and handle more responsibilities to ensure everything runs smoothly.


Regarding responsibilities, Amish men are expected to be good leaders, fathers, and husbands. They are the breadwinners of their families and are expected to provide for their households. They are also expected to have close relations with their family and be supportive of their children and wives. Amish men are also responsible for visiting family members who live miles away from them/


Amish men work hard to provide for their families as they are breadwinners. Many Amish men are business owners, while others work in the farms and fields or take on other manual labor. Among the most important role of a man in Amish society is to provide for their family. They are heads of households. Therefore, they not only make decisions but also ensure their families have all the basic and secondary needs.

Amish rules for kids

Amish Rules Guide
Amish rules for kids. Image source: Pixabay

The Amish take raising kids seriously, as they view them as God-given gifts. An extreme rule that Amish kids are supposed to adhere to is not to connect with the outside world, be it by watching television or using the phone. They are not allowed to use these devices or talk to people not part of the Amish community. This rule is imposed on kids to prevent them from being influenced by the outside world.

Furthermore, just like in many Christian sects, Amish kids should obey their parents as instructed in the book of Exodus 20:12. They are required to follow the rules imposed on them by their elders and basically do what their parents and elders instruct them to. Amish kids are also expected to obey teachers, pastors, and other societal leaders. Kids are also taught to follow the Amish’s work ethic, which is working hard. Older kids are also expected to care for their siblings.

Amish rules of courtship and marriage

The Amish take marriage seriously, as they believe it is a sacred institution. They have strict courtship rules that each of their members should follow to ensure a couple is compatible before getting married. When courting, the Amish practice a ritual called “bundling.” This is basically where a man and woman are put in the same room; they ensure they are fully clothed and with something like a blanket separating them. This ritual allows this couple to know each other without distracting themselves with physical beauty and contact.

The Amish are allowed to start dating when they become young adults, mostly at age 16. Even at this age, young adults are discouraged from publicly portraying interest in each other until the young man officially asks the girl out. The Amish do not just date for fun, as this stage is taken with utmost seriousness. Most couples start dating with marriage in mind. However, a few of them end up breaking up if they see they are incompatible.

Once they establish they are compatible, most Amish couples marry within their first or second year of dating. Marriages are conducted by community elders and are viewed as lifelong commitments. Based on 2 Corinthians 6:14, the Amish do not allow their members to marry non-Amish people. They also follow biblical rules to the latter, and they therefore strongly discourage divorce as instructed in Mathew 5:32. If a couple divorces, they have to go through a public confession and repentance process. During this process, they are not allowed to participate in community activities but can talk to other community members.

If you have not yet married, you are not allowed to have physical contact with anyone, including the person you are dating. You are not supposed to hug, kiss, or even hold hands. The Amish also strongly discourage same-sex relationships.

Amish rules for education

Amish rules about education are quite different from the contemporary world. For Amish, you must go to school till you are 14 (mostly eighth grade). After that, it is upon you to decide if you want to delve into work directly or continue with your education. Mostly, when Amish children finish the eighth grade, they go straight into working in farms or Amish-based businesses. The Amish believe that pursuing higher education will lead their children astray.

Amish rules for working and jobs

The Amish believe that working hard is honoring God. Therefore, they pride themselves on hard work and discourage any form of shortcuts. Amish practices several businesses that reflect the needs of the community, like carpentry, farming, or baking, and they are often passed down from one generation to the next. As the Bible notes in Deuteronomy 5:12 that we should rest on Sabbath, the Amish work six days a week and do not indulge in work activities on Sundays as they spend time with family after church.

Amish rules of technology

The Amish selectively use technology and discourage current technological trends that promote vanity, sloth, or luxury. Before they adopt any technology, it must have gone through a rigorous examination and passed. Mostly, they allow selective technologies for business reasons but discourage those that promote self-indulgence and entertainment, like personal mobile phones. An Amish cannot own a car but can ask for a ride from a neighbor. They also do not have computers, electricity, radios, and television in their homes. They believe that technology comes to distract people from the things that are important in life, like God, family, and community.

What are the punishments for breaking Amish rules?

What Is Amish Food?
Punishments for breaking Amish rules. Image source: Pixabay

The Amish practice forgiveness since the Bible insists on it. For example, in Ephesians 4:32, the scripture instructs us to forgive one another just like God forgives us. However, those who go against their rules have a set of consequences that they must suffer as an act of taking responsibility for their actions. Most Amish communities practice two forms of Punishment: ex-communication or shunning.

Shunning is not as extreme as ex-communication, but it separates the offender from the rest of the community so that they can realize the intensity of the rule they just broke. Shunning involves cutting the offender off from indulging in community activities or all forms of social interactions. You can receive permanent or temporary shunning depending on the type of rule you break. You can be shunned if you use technology that is banned, drink alcohol, are caught gossiping, dress inappropriately, or fail to attend church. When you are shunned, you can still communicate with community members, as the goal of this Punishment is to help you realize your mistake and take necessary action to correct it.

An extreme mode of Punishment among the Amish is ex-communication. When you receive this Punishment, you are no longer considered part of the community. Therefore, you not only cease to participate in community activities but also do not communicate with anyone who is part of the community. Ex-communication is given when you have committed a more serious offense like child abuse, murder, theft, and rape.

How do Amish rules impact their lives?

The Amish rules help them lock out worldliness from their lives because they govern their daily activities, including how they travel, their clothing, education, transportation, and even leadership. Their rules do not allow them to be part of the worldly trends, meaning they turn down most connections from the outside world as they strive to remain unworldly. Their rules also often cause a lot of confusion among those, not in their community.

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