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5 Stars Out Of 5
December 11, 2009
Finding the right match for you is more than being compatible. It won't happen with just a click of the mouse either, as some would have you to think. It takes work and commitment. The Smalleys share their hearts with their readers in this book. They discuss 5 key issues that every couple thinking about marriage should talk about before saying "I Do". They help the reader to see that marriage isn't 50/50. That it's not about self, but about serving your soul mate and giving of yourself. This is an excellent book for any couple seeking for the PERFECT match.
More Than a Match by Michael & Amy SmalleyThe 5 keys to compatibility for life.Although this book seems to be geared more for a single person, or couples about to embark into a marriage, it holds a lot of useful information for me as a married person as well.Although everything changes when you get married, dont expect your partner to be changed. Marriage doesnt alleviate prior relationship glitches. Marriage is not a fairy tale. These are just a few things I picked up from this book. Michael & Amy use their many years as counselors, as well as instances from their own lives to bring out key points of compatibility in relationships. They show ways to work through conflicts that arise, and keep on the path to that fantastic marriage that you have always dreamed of having. What I love the most is that they underscore that all the compatibility issues can be overcome by a strong commitment to God and to each other. And their marriage is a testament to that fact
Michael and Amy provide a great foundation of questions and things to look for BEFORE you get married. I think if I would have had this book before I got married it would have saved me a lot of time on issues that took us YEARS to resolve. (or maybe not, I'm a bit stubborn! lol)I appreciate the honest candor about not only intellectual and emotional questions, but sexual topics such as premarital sex. Often this is overlooked or brushed under the carpet because it happens all too often (80% of Christian couples included in that!!!). The Smalley's discuss in-depth details on the sexual front, which I think are important for "engaged" couples to consider regardless of their previous sexual experience.I found the book to build with each chapter. It became more and more interesting in the end as the two give examples of their frustrations through married life and how they created some win-win situations. I think that really brought a grounding to this book-- that they are parterners in marriage, and that is what it is about.I would gladly pass this book onto my unmarried friends who are considering taking the plunge, or longing for deeper relationships.** This copy was provided for me for my honest review by Water Brook Multnomah
More Than a Match by Michael & Amy Smalley is an enjoyable and incredibly honest look at how to successfully go from dating to happily married. The authors are brutally honest about the mistakes they made in their dating and early in their marriage, offering up their errors as lessons for the reader. They focus on the compatibility studies from various dating sites that promise a perfect match, but marriage is more than being compatible. It's about communication and respect, and the authors, both counselors, have plenty of advice. They encourage readers to make a check list of what's most important to them and then honestly evaluate relationships in the light of the list. Their insight on sex (especially the wedding night) is right on the money and almost shockingly open. While the book is aimed at those in the dating pool, it also has great advice for communication for everyone, even couples with several anniversaries under their belt. This book may be a bit too mature and graphic for teen audiences, but for college age and up, it's a terrific guide to getting relationships right.
More Than a Matchis one of those counseling books that fall 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.