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More Than a Match, by Michael & Amy Smalley

In More Than a Match, Michael and Amy Smalley offer wisdom and guidance on choosing a life mate.   Using their own personal experiences and sharing the joys and heartbreaks of others, the Smalleys provide a workbook for exploring your own wants and needs and communicating them to your potential mate, and exploring your potential mate’s wants and needs as well.

There is a reason why fairy tale marriages end at the wedding — that was probably the end of the romance as well.  In a fairy tale relationship a handsome man meets a beautiful woman, they look at each other and fall in love, then live happily ever after — in ten pages or less — without ever bothering to get to know one another.

Let’s look at Cinderella — the shoe fit so the prince married her.  And Cinderella married the prince because, well, he’s a prince!  Great right?  Except — how many pairs of shoes have you purchased only to realize later that they really don’t fit well after all?  I bet it didn’t take much chaffing and rubbing and blistering to convince you to toss them aside.

More Than a Match, reminds its readers of the reason for dating — dates are the interview process for screening a potential mate.  Love and romance are wonderful, but they don’t necessarily create a stable foundation upon which to build a long lasting marriage.   Along with the hearts and flowers, some tough questions need to be asked and answered by both partners before they walk down the isle.  The Smalleys provide a host of such questions based on the twelve most significant relationship issues they’ve encountered in their substantial experience as marriage counselors, going in to extra detail on the five keys to compatibility for life.

At the end of every chapter in the book there is a set of thinking and talking points.  Use the thinking points to explore your own thoughts on an issue, then bring up the talking points with your potential mate.  Further, if you discover from this process that you and your potential mate aren’t compatible, the Smalleys offer suggestions and advice on how to end the relationship.

Michael and Amy Smalley both hold mater’s degrees in clinical psychology.  They specialize in marriage and family counseling based on Biblical Christian principals.  To learn more about the Smalleys visit


My take on this book:  The Smalleys are Christian counselors and their relationship precepts are based on Christian values.  Having said that, I am also pleased to be able to say that the Smalleys do not paint couples who have issues generated from life experiences outside those Christian values with a huge scarlet A or condemn them to hell.   Instead they help the couple work through their issues based on Jesus’ love for us and forgiveness of our sins.

I am also pleased to say that Amoeba and I had discussed all most all of the twelve most significant relationship issues before we combined our lives.  We did fail on the getting married before living together front.  Alas.

I would like to thank the  WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing me this book for review.


    1. Dr. John — I believe it is a book Pastors use in pre-marital counseling. I think I picked that info up on the Smalley’s website.

  1. My husband and I lived together for about five years before officially getting married. We considered ourselves married already. Fairytales are good for entertainment but they don’t translate well to real life.

    Silly Haiku

    1. Nessa — I think the main thing is intent — if a couple is committed to their relationship and working out their problems, the relationship has an excellent chance of succeeding despite the norms that indicate otherwise.

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