Best-selling author Michelle McKinney Hammond has advised thousands of readers over the years how to find happiness in singleness and how to love themselves the way God intended.

One of her recent books, however, serves as a guide for nurturing a godly romance. In  How to Make Love Work:  The Guide to Getting It, Keeping It and Fixing What’s Broken Hammond takes a practical look at what it takes to develop and maintain a healthy relationship.

Hammond spoke to recently from Chicago, where she cohosts an Emmy Award-winning television show and serves as an empowerment coach and speaker.

Tell us about How to Make Love Work.

It’s a manual from A to Z, from singlehood all the way through marriage. Most people make decisions driven by emotions. They think as long as they feel good, love is working, and when they’re not feeling good it’s not working. Love not feeling good is an indicator that there is an area of the relationship that needs to be worked on. People always want the end result, but not the work it takes to get it. Sometimes work doesn’t feel good, but the rewards of it are fabulous.

What makes this book unique?

It’s a practical guide that incorporates a scriptural principle.  I’m really just dissecting the parts of love and how you put them together - what proper alignment is, how you troubleshoot areas that are not working well, and the maintenance that’s involved.  Nothing keeps growing on its own. A plant is beautiful as long as you water and nurture it with the right amount of sun. A relationship is the same. It has to be nurtured; it has to be refreshed.

I would say the difference also is this book’s much more objective take, in that it simplifies the main elements and leaves the choices up to the person reading the book.  I give you tools and you get to make decisions on how to use them.

You indicate in the book that people generally look at love all wrong. How so?

Sometimes our expectations of love and what it’s supposed to accomplish in our lives make us feel we’re not loved at all. What we expect the other person to do, that poor other person doesn’t even know what your expectations are. He may not know or he may not be wired to do those things. Does that disqualify that it is love? It’s the expectation that now does damage to the relationship. That’s why our hearts have to be grounded in God’s Word.

No person will ever be able to fulfill all of our expectations about love, because God won’t allow it. There’s a hole that can only be filled by Him.

You equate building a solid relationship to assembling a great product. What are some of the vital components?

Women are wired to be receivers and men are wired to be givers. A socket is available for the plug. It is what it is, but it doesn’t pursue the plug. It is connected to all the things it should be connected to. Being open to making the connection is important where the woman is concerned.

Men’s initial and greatest fear is rejection. We have to be inviting and look approachable. Hidden attitudes can reveal themselves in our posture and expressions. Loosen up. Compliment the guy on his shoes so he knows it’s safe to talk to you. If he’s a boy and he’s waiting for you to run after him, that’s not someone you are going to want to be tied to long-term. If he’ s not aggressive in his pursuit of you, he will be passive in other important areas.

Let’s dissect your title. The first part of How to Make Love Work addresses how to find love. What’s your advice?