More Than a Match – a book review

more than a match.gifAbout This Book
Prepare Yourself for Lasting Love

You’ve searched a lifetime for that special person, but how can you be absolutely certain that you’ve found “The One”? And more important, how can you hold on to that love for the rest of your life?

More Than a Match explores the “compatibility factor,” demystifying the science behind matchmaking and giving you the tools you need to find the love you want. You’ll learn how to apply the specifics of good compatibility to a prospective date or mate, as well as how to break things off when you find yourself in the wrong relationship.

But since great relationships aren’t built on compatibility alone, marriage experts Michael and Amy Smalley also delve into the “forever factor,” giving you the skills you need to turn your romance into a lifelong love affair. You’ll learn how to deal with conflict, how to develop a healthy sex life, and how to recover when you inevitably hurt one another.

Fantastic marriages begin long before the exchange of the rings; they start when two people in search of love commit themselves to learning to how to love well…and forever. Because finding and keeping the love of your life is about much More Than a Match.

smalley_michael.gifAbout the Authors
Michael and Amy Smalley hold master’s degrees in clinical psychology from Wheaton College. Michael is the Director of Marriage and Family at The Woodlands United Methodist Church in Texas.

For the past ten years, they’ve spoken to audiences around the world, sharing practical, refreshing advice for finding a love that will last a lifetime. They also have authored or coauthored several relationship books, including The DNA of Relationships, Men’s Relational Toolbox, and Don’t Date Naked.

Married for ten years, Michael and Amy live with their three children in The Woodlands, Texas.

My Review – I don’t usually enjoy reading marital or even premarital books. I simply find too few that approach the issues from a biblical perspective. Oh sure, most will tell you they do, but basically, it’s just the same old recycled secular psychology with a few Scripture verses thrown in for good measure so the book can be marketed as Christian guide to marriage.

More Than a Match by the Smalleys falls somewhere in the middle for me. There are parts of this book I really like. I enjoy the conversational style that the Smalleys use throughout the book. They keep taking turns speaking/writing, just as if they were sitting in your living room or you were sitting in their counseling office. This approach makes the reading very easy, clear and enjoyable. If you’re the type who likes “technical marriage manuals” with clearly delineated points of methods and principcles, this probably isn’t the book for you. However, if you’re tired of those technical manuals, I think you’ll find this a breath of fresh air.

Using past experiences, especially with each other prior to and subsequent to their wedding, Michael & Amy Smalley engage the reader. One of the most touching examples of forgiveness I’ve ever read came when Amy revealed that she was not a virgin (from a previous relationship/engagement). Michael simply fetches a bowl of water and a towel, washes her feet in a stunning re-enactment of Christ’s act of servanthood, and lets her know that God has forgiven her, as has he.

My only concern with this book is, as a pastor who seeks to tell his congregation that God’s Word is sufficient for all of life, I find a noticeable absence of Scripture used in the Smalley’s approach. There are references to passages, some occasional quotes, but nothing that borders on what I would call Scriptural teaching. Most of the texts are simply proof texts. If I had to recommend any area of improvement for this book, it would be this: use Scripture as the all-sufficient source of God’s authority for life & living that it is.

I’ll recommend this book because of its style, uniqueness among marital books and the good points I mentioned. I only do so with the reservations mentioned.

This book may be purchased at WaterBrook and Random House.

This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

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