Greetings world. Or should I say, Ciao Amici!
Late last night Adam and I arrived home from our honeymoon in Italy.
How sweet it was to arrive at the Nelson residence. Two Nelsons.
Indeed, we have much to blog about, but to begin I want to return to a precious moment of our wedding ceremony. I'd like to share with you the prayer that my father prayed over the two of us as we stood at the alter in Charlottesville two weeks ago. It is the prayer that my grandfather, who was a minister, prayed over my parents at their wedding, as well as many, many others at theirs.
It might be the most beautiful prayer I've ever heard. There are usually few dry eyes when it's read.
And as we begin this marriage, we humbly pray this prayer in our own hearts each and every day, never forgetting the One who remains always at the center of our lives, and our marriage.
"Our gracious and sovereign God, we rejoice that you have sealed this marriage today between Elise and Adam, recognizing that you ordained this day in their lives from before the foundations of the earth itself. Their joys in Life are now doubled since the happiness of one is the happiness of the other, and their burdens now are halved, since by sharing them they divide the load.
Bless my son-in-law Adam, in his new role as my daughter Elise’s earthly provider and protector. May Adams’s strength be Elise’s protection, may his character be her boast and her pride, and may he so live that she will find in him the sanctuary for which the heart of a woman truly longs.
Bless my daughter Elise as she becomes Adams’s loving wife. Nurture the tender and compassionate spirit that you have already given her, and promote in her an ever deepening sense of faith in Thee. Grant her that inner beauty of soul that never fades, and grant her that special eternal youth that is found by holding fast to the things that never age.
O God, I ask that Adam and Elise as a couple not expect of each other the perfection that belongs alone to Thee. May they minimize each other’s weaknesses, be swift to praise and magnify each other’s points of virtue and strength, and may they treat each other with the same mercy and grace that you have already extended to them as the Savior of their Souls.
And now O Father, in the wisdom of your overarching Providence and Sovereignty, I beseech you to make such assignments to Adam and Elise on the scroll of Thy will as will bless them and develop their characters as they walk together. Give them a great and heroic spiritual purpose in life together, as a couple. Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurts to keep them compassionate towards others, enough of failure to keep their hands clenched tightly in Thine, and yet enough of success to make them sure they walk with You, O God. May they seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, recognizing that all of the other things of lasting eternal significance shall be added unto them by Your merciful hand.
May they never take each other’s love for granted, but rather be vigilant and zealous to safeguard this precious gift of marriage that You have provided for them. And for all the years ahead, may they look back on this wedding day and recognize with wonder and awe that of all their married days, this was the one on which they loved each other the least.
And finally, when this physical life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found then as now, still hand in hand, still thanking God for each other. May they serve Thee happily, faithfully, together always, until at last one shall lay the other into your arms, O God.
This lifetime shepherding of Elise’s and Adam’s married life we lay before you now at its very beginning, and we place these requests before you in humility through Jesus Christ, our merciful Redeemer, and the Eternal protector of our souls.
And all God’s people said 'Amen'. "