03/24/2014 06:29 pm ET Updated May 24, 2014

Wedding Reading: Recipe for a Good Marriage

There isn't just one "recipe" for love and marriage.

When it comes to building a lasting relationship, each couple is unique and will face their own unique challenges and experience their own unique joys. Yet as you move through the seasons as a married couple, you will find there are certain universal truths that support a good married life.

Over the years, thousands of brides and couples have shared with me their heartfelt beliefs about what will make their marriage happy and healthy. They recognize that while love is the foundation, there are many qualities that help love thrive.

I have blended some marital wisdom in the nondenominational reading, "Recipe For A Good Marriage." Couples sometimes ask me to read it as part of their wedding ceremony. Feel free to use it in yours.

Falling in love is the easy part.
Creating a good marriage is a bigger task.
Here is a special recipe for building your lives together:

Give life to your love,
Through small acts of kindness and caring.

Communicate clearly.
Always tell one another what is on your minds.

Listen to each other.
Truly hear what your partners has to say.

Have a shared mission.
Know what you want your marriage to be.

Follow dreams together.
Decide on worthy goals that you can pursue together.

Support each other's dreams.
Be the wind beneath one another's wings.

Be there in tough times.
Conjure strength for each other in sorrow and disappointment.

Cherish what you have.
Always treasure your relationship and the one you love

Hold on to each other.
Remember how valuable it is to love and be loved

Make this marriage the foundation of your lives.
Let it always be the home you return to,
and the safe heaven that the outside world cannot disturb.

-Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway

Reprinted from Your Interfaith Wedding: A Guide to Blending Faiths, Cultures, and Personal Values into One Beautiful Wedding Ceremony by Laurie Sue Brockway (Praeger; 2010).