Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Someone asked the questions why the Amish don't say "thank you" which gave me the idea of explaining why we Amish do some of the things we do and don't do.

Most of the time, at least between us Amish, we don't say "thank you" very often.  We try to remember to say it when we are dealing with Englishers as we don't want to appear rude.  In the bible at St. Luke 6:38 "Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." First, in helping others, we are doing the way of the Lord.  He wants us to help one another.  Second, it says in the Bible that what we do for others will be returned to us.  So why should we be thanked or should we thank someone for something that  the Lord will see is returned to us?  So, if an Amish person does not say "thank you" to you, they are not trying to be rude, it is the Lord's way our way.

Another question people ask is why are we non violent?  Throughout the bible in many different places is states that we should "Love our enemies."  In St. Luke 6: 28-33 "But I saw unto your which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  And unto them, that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take they coat also.  Give of every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.   And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye?  for sinners also love those that love them.  And if ye do good to them which do good to you what thank have ye? for sinnders also do even the same. "  Also in St. Luke 6:35 "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil." So if the Lord asks us to Love our enemies, turn the other cheek to our enemies, give to our enemies, lend to our enemies, then how we can fight our enemies?  We can't.

On the other hand that does not mean we should not call the police and have someone arrested if they steal from our homes or do violence.  We should not let someone stealing or set fires or like what that couple did to those girls, go free, so they can do it again to someone else.  No.  But that does not mean we should shot them or injure them in anyway.

Which leads to the question, I am sure every Amish or Old Order Mennonite man gets asked.  What if someone broke into our house and was going to rape Anna, would I allow them to do it?  That has never happened and I hope it never does, but I do not know how I would react in a situation like that.  I would not stand there and let them do it.  The closest we ever came was when we lived in Ohio. Someone had been breaking into Amish houses during church.  At that time, we didn't have locks on our houses.  Anna had stayed home as one of the children was sick.  I had taken the rest of the children and gone to church.  Anna heard someone downstairs and thought it was someone coming to check on them. When she got downstairs she saw the man going through the drawers in the kitchen.  She told him to leave.  He came toward her.  Anna reached around the corner and my rifle was there (unloaded) and she pulled it out and aimed it.  The man told her he didn't think she would use.  She aimed.  He left.  What was funny was that I had been hunting the day before and forgot to put the gun in the gun rack.  Anna had gotten upset because I hadn't put it in the rack with the children in the house. Once I came home from church, we called the police.  In discussion with Eli later, before he was Bishop, he asked Anna if the gun had been loaded, would she have shot it.  She said she didn't think so, but if he had started up the stairs for the child, she couldn't be sure.  If it had been I, I couldn't say I wouldn't either.  We just hope this never happens where we have to find out.

Why is the man the head of our home?  Well, that goes way back to Genesis where God created Adam and Eve.  In Genesis 2:21-22 "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh instead thereof: And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought unto the man." God created Adam first so he is the head.  Eve was created from the rib of Adam so she submit's to Adam.  Even to do this day, man is the head of the house and wives should submit to their husband.  It is in the bible many times.  In Ephesians 5:22-23 "Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." In Colossians: 3:18-19 "Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit to the Lord.  Husbands love your wives and be not bitter against them." There are many other passages where man is the head of household.  We believe that it is the man's place to provide for his wife and family as head of the house.

As I said before, in our house if someone has to make a final agreement, I most likely will make it, but I ask Anna for her views as she sometimes comes up with different views than I do.  If I am not home, I trust Anna's decision on any matter that she makes when I'm not there.

Have you ever seen an Amish couple come to a door and the man walks through first and the woman behind him?  As head of the house, many Amish believe that the man should go first.  Going into church, the men go in first.  At a meal, the men eat first.  Men make most of the major decisions in our church and school.  Sometimes you might see where an Amish lady must go to her husband before she can buy because he has the money.  We don't have that in our house as Anna takes care of the money - except the one account I put extra money to buy the furniture for our house.  If Anna didn't handle the money I don't know where we would be.  I don't waste money, but I don't like doing the books where she doesn't mind it.

Amish, like some Englishers, can get, what I believe, is too strict.  What men say is like law.  Men rule and women can't make any decisions.  I don't believe in that.  Yes, I am the head of the house, but it is a home, family, we work together.  Bishop Eli has gone to some homes to speak to the couple over being to strict.

Well, I thought I would tell you why us Amish do some of the things that we do the way we do.  If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask.

Trust God's Wisdom,


Anonymous said...

Well, Elmer, I'm going to have to thank you for answering my question about thanking! I am laughing at myself because it's so hard for me not to thank. It's been ingrained into me since I was a little child, and I just feel wrong if I don't do it!

I am very glad that Anna and your family is safe, and that your values were not compromised.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Stacy,
It would be hard for me not to thank someone, too. Like you, it has been ingrained in me.

I will see that Elmer and Anna get your message.


Vickie said...

What a very interesting post. And what a scary event Anna had to go through years ago. None of us want to be faced with that!!

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Vickie,

Will see that Elmer gets your messsage. None of us ever want to go through what Anna did.

Hugs to Mabel and Henry,
Marilyn and Pierre

Anonymous said...

Hi Elmer, A very interesting and thought provoking post. As far as saying "thank you"goes, if we are to give thanks to the Lord then I think it is only then right to say "thank you"to others as is appropriate; remembering what ever was said or done for you by another is God working through others for our good and for His glory. So in essence, we're thanking Him at the same time. Does this make sense to you? Just my opinion.
Bad icy roads in our area. There hasn't been even one sander on our road at Ll so far. Supposed to be "messy" the rest of the week with more "winters mix"stuff. Take care everyone, blessings, Carol

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Carol,
I will see that Elmer gets your message. I was brought up to thank others and find it hard not to. Will leave your question to Elmer.

Right now, it is sunny and clouds forming. We are suppose to get like you tonight or tomorrow. I am not looking forward to it. It is suppose to messy the rest of the week here, too. Ugh !!!

Blessings to you and yours,

Countryside Reflections said...

It's so nice of you to take the time to answer our questions. Sometimes it's hard for us Englishers to understand the Amish ways, so it's interesting to hear the explanations and know why you have your customs.


New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Doreen,
Thank you so much. I will see that Elmer gets your message.