Book Review: More Than a Match

Title: More Than a Match

Subtitle: The 5 Keys to Compatibility for Life

Authors: Michael and Amy Smalley

Publisher’s Synopsis: 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.

I don’t think I’ve ever read anything more transparent in my life.    How’s that for an opening line?  Honestly, what more could you expect from a book that includes information about one of the author’s previous engagement!  I have to say, I wasn’t always comfortable with the level of transparency (I think they were a little too frank at times), but in this world of so few real life mentors, I do understand the reason for it.  Had I not been reviewing this book for WaterBrook, I would not have finished it.

Now, that makes it sound like it wasn’t a good book.  That’s not true.  It was a very good book and has so many things in it that I think any couple, dating, courting, engaged, or married– doesn’t matter– I think they all could benefit from much if not most of the book.  Furthermore, I can even see it being an excellent guide (removing all sexuality from it) to investing in friendships even if you’re never going to be romantically involved and/or if you are of the same gender.    There is much wisdom in learning from the mistakes and successes of others, and this book shares them from the standpoint that compatibility is a good thing to consider in a relationship, but it is not a guarantee for success.

This is the kind of book I’d recommend for couples that are about to become engaged.  He’s ready to pop the question, they both know it, but as much as you love and respect each other, do you know how to work together as a team?  Are you ready for how the other person lives in day-to-day life?  Do you have any of the major risk factors for divorce (or misery in marriage if you are one of the rare people left for whom divorce is never an option)?

I agreed with every principle promoted in the book (as far as I remember).  However, several of their conclusions or methods I take issue with.  Anyone reading the book who knows me knows what I think of recreational/serial dating especially when not ready for marriage.  I hold very strong convictions as to how I think Paul has instructed wives in Titus chapter two.  However, the principle behind their variances of method don’t negate that we are on the same page principle wise.

Note:  To those who are sick to death of reading how women should submit and ignoring the man’s admonition to serve and love as Christ loved the church– you’ll love this book!

One particularly beautiful story was especially meaningful for me.  Early last spring I added a huge section to one of my novels involving foot washing between a newly married couple.  It was beautiful in my eyes, but nagging doubts have plagued me for months.  Am I being silly?  Surely people will read it, roll their eyes, and close the book.  Then I read how his wife, before they started seriously dating, confessed that she’d given her virginity to her previous fiancee.  Mr. Smalley’s response?  He washed her feet.  If you read nothing else, the book is worth it just to read that section.  The symbolism and words that he shared with the woman who is now his wife was probably the most romantic thing I’ve ever read.  Not to mention very validating to me as a writer.  😉

Many thanks to WaterBrook for providing this copy for review.  I’m going to add it to a pile of books to be given away all at once!

3 thoughts on “Book Review: More Than a Match

    • Due to the frank discussion of sexual themes, I’d say just before engagement OR with mom and dad previewing and marking sections not to read. I wouldn’t be devastated if my Morgann (almost 20) read the book, but I also would prefer she wait to read some of this stuff until it’s likely to be a deeper part of her life.

  1. Thanks for the review, Chautona. Sounds like it’s full of good, useful information for those at engagement or even a resource book for those who counsel young couples.

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