In my last blog post, I shared about a mother who admitted that being a mother was not at all what she thought it would be and honestly was not enjoying it at all. She talked about how much it was affecting her marriage. I guess, for me, this is just more proof that we aren’t preparing couples to get married and raise families, but it also shows that maybe the support systems are not in place like they were in the past.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a slight obsession with all things Amish. My three favorite authors are all authors of Amish books and I have spent many hours online researching the Amish and their way of life. While there are things that I disagree with in the culture, there are some things that I think they absolutely get right. The sense of faith, family, community is so strong and I feel like this is something we have let slip in our modern day world.
In their world, they court in private and nobody knows for sure who is dating who until couples publish their marriages, typically in late Sept and announce dates for their wedding which typically take place September through December b/c the bulk of harvesting is over at this time. Once they are published, mothers, daughters, aunts, cousins and other ladies from the community get together to have quilting bees and canning bees to help the couple stock their new homes. Also, during this time there is some mentoring that happens and a wedding is a full on community event. An Amish wedding is typically an all day affair, but I won’t share those details at this time. Once the couple is married, they spend their honeymoon traveling and staying with different family members and friends in their districts and neighboring districts. After they return home, their community comes together to help the new couple set up their home and then supports them as they start their new lives together. There is never a lack of people to ask questions nor to be there to mentor the new couple.
In our modern world, this seems a little crazy and may seem like there are too many people involved in the couple’s life, but do they really have it that wrong? From the time a person in the Amish community is born, they are surrounded by family, friends and other members of the community. In a sense the whole community becomes like family. They take care of each other and support each other through the all the positives and negatives of life. They come together to help a family build a house, a barn, a shop or whatever else needs to be built and the women provide the meals. When a baby is born, the community is there. When a wedding takes place the community is there. When a death happens the community is there. It’s not uncommon for a group to just stop and pray for or over a person, couple or situation. This group of people are born, live and die in their communities. Isn’t this how the Lord intended us to live? While I can’t say that there has never been a woman to feel the way the mother in the article feels, it does not happen nearly as often because the community is there.
We have become so isolated in a world of technology. Yes, we “communicate” with each other, but do we really connect with each other? Yes, there is a huge difference in the two. Some people are close to their families and others are not. Some people have a close knit group of friends and other do not. Some have close ties to their churches and others do not. I think the lack of community leads to feelings of isolation and the feeling that there is nobody to reach out to and ask for help before reaching the point the mother in the article did. The Lord created us to be relational and not to spend our lives in isolation. I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but I do think that we need to do a better job of reaching out to those we care about and making an attempt to really watch and see what is going on in the lives of the people around us.
My challenge to you today is to pay attention to what is going on around you. Is there is a mom who needs a date night or a Girl’s Night Out? Is there a family dealing w/ something and they may benefit from you mowing their lawn or bringing them a meal. Is there someone who may just need an ear and have you pray over them? Pray and ask the Lord to put a person or situation in your path, where you can be the hands and feet of Christ.