As a born-again Christian that has lived near an Amish Community, I find their culture quite
different from other communities. One thing that I noticed about them is their love for huge
families. Since family is quite important to the Amish group, I learned that they do not use birth
control methods, resulting in many children. This made me curious to know at what age do
Amish women get pregnant?
In this article, I will shed light on the Amish people and family. Join me as we explore this topic
and discover at what age Amish get married and the number of children an Amish couple can
have. By the end of this article, you will also learn whether Amish women get pregnant before
marriage. Here is more!
What age do Amish women get married?
Amish women mostly get married in their early twenties. In most cases, the groom is usually a year older than his bride. In the Amish culture, dating starts early. As early as sixteen, Amish teenagers are considered adults capable of telling apart right from wrong and responsible for their behavior. Hence, these young adults begin socializing with their mates during this age in frolics, home visits, church events, and auctions.
The most common event these young adults attend is the Sunday night singing, which includes different Amish communities. During this event, these young adults sing hymns together as they socialize. This event lasts until 10:00 pm, after which refreshments are served to the teenagers to continue enjoying as they mingle. After it ends, it is now time to head home. If a boy likes a girl, he offers her a ride home, which marks the beginning of their courtship journey.
Since the Amish culture is rigorous, their dates are nothing like the typical English dates you would expect. The Amish couples only engage in activities like buggy rides, outdoor activities with large groups, or spending time with each other’s families.
Courtship is taken very seriously because the Amish culture does not allow for divorce. During courtship, the couple goes through a practice known as bundling. In this practice, the couples must sleep on the same bed, fully clothed, without physical contact. Bundling takes place in the girl’s bed in the Amish culture. The bed usually has a board in the middle to limit any possibility of physical contact. The couple is allowed to talk for the whole night but make no physical contact whatsoever. The Amish believe this practice enables young couples to get to know each other better, considering that their marriages are often arranged. Secondly, it gives them a sense of self-control and teaches them that marriage is not only based on physical attraction. Though this practice is not sexual, the Amish consider it very intimate.
Once the couple gets engaged, they keep it a secret for a few months and then tell their parents, who keep it a secret until marriage nears. Amish weddings are mostly done during November and December for those who follow the agricultural calendar. However, some may have their weddings during spring. After the couple decides to marry and sets a date, a deacon announces the news during Sunday service.
The wedding takes place on Tuesdays or Thursdays. This is because the Amish need a whole day to prepare for the wedding and a full day to clean up after the wedding. Hence, if, for instance, the marriage is carried out on a Saturday, that would make Sunday the cleaning day which would be termed as blasphemous.
The bride usually makes her wedding dress and those of her bridesmaids (newehockers). The bride’s gown is typically blue or purple, though blue is the most preferred color. After the wedding, this dress turns out to be her Sunday outfit which she wears when attending church. Since the Amish do not allow jewelry, their marriage is symbolized by a white bonnet on the woman’s head and untrimmed beards for the groom.
After the wedding, the bride and groom do not go on a honeymoon but instead help out with cleaning after their big day. The newly married couple lives with the girl’s parents until they are ready to move out and start their own home.
How many children can an Amish couple have?
Amish usually start having children as soon as they get married since they do not use family planning methods. They strongly believe in the scriptures, Genesis 1-28: God blessed them and said, be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it, and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all the living things that creep on earth. Hence large families are prevalent in Amish communities.
Since Amish marry early and start giving birth soon after the marriage, these couples usually have six to eight children on average. Amish value children and see them as a blessing from God. Hence, they appreciate many family members and the joy of having uncles, aunts, cousins, and siblings surrounding them. Due to their large numbers per family, Amish children never lack playmates.
In Amish culture, family time is a valued aspect. They believe that spending time with their children allows them to instill good values, both spiritual and social ethics. Additionally, this child is constantly surrounded by older family members who guide them further.
In Amish culture, children attend school until the eighth grade and do not continue any further. They are introduced to small responsibilities at a tender age which makes them grow up to become responsible people. When they are teenagers, they engage in official business, like a family business, and contribute to foot the household bills until they are old enough to marry.
Amish communities run under a patriarchal system. Hence parental roles are primarily traditional, with the men being the breadwinners and the governing voice. Women are submissive and focus on raising the children and other supportive parts on the inside.
This community teaches the importance of brotherly love, selflessness, and compassion for each other. These lead to closely-knit families focusing on building each other rather than individual gain. These families sing together, play games, and interact freely like their harmonious community.
Can Amish women get pregnant before marriage?
Getting pregnant before marriage in an Amish community is a big no. Amish women are expected to marry in church before giving birth. In Amish culture, premarital sex is considered to be a grave sin. This is because they perceive sex as a sacred act only shared in the confines of marriage.
Hence if a girl gets pregnant out of wedlock, she faces the danger of being shunned and cast out of the community. However, the girl can get married to the boy who got her pregnant, and the sin of premarital sex they had engaged in would be forgiven. Additionally, a widower may marry her to raise his children along with hers.
If any of these means are not possible, a girl’s family may choose to raise the child as their own. In this case, the girl is forced to refer to her child as her sister or brother. Adoption may be considered, although this topic is not spoken of openly in the Amish community.
Since abortion is not allowed, a girl who fails to marry while pregnant may be banished from the Amish community as they see her as a disgrace. To avoid such circumstances befalling them, Amish women are encouraged to be chaste and wait until marriage.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.