Fourteen Words to Fix or Upgrade Your Marriage

This month we’re publishing a classic e-teaching I wrote some years ago about marriage. It is based on a biblical concept that many Christians have never heard of, namely, the concept of “merciful and merited love.” Understanding and applying that concept can revolutionize your relationship with God and others, especially if you’ve been heavily influenced by unbiblical teaching about the “unconditional love of God.” Applying this simple concept in your marriage can repair those that are broken, improve those that are mediocre, and enhance those that are strong. God is glorified in great marriages, and yours can be one of them! — David

Why do we love? Our motives for loving can be divided into two categories: (1) “I love you because of…” and (2) “I love you in spite of…” The first we could call merited love and the second merciful love. Merited love is earned and deserved. Merciful love is not. It stems from grace.

picture of married couple

Every loving relationship finds its motive in one or the other, or a mix of the two, including marriage relationships. However, before I reveal the 14 words that can fix or upgrade your marriage, let’s first make sure we sufficiently understand merited and merciful love.

The Brownie Surprise

by David Servant

Dear Friends,

I wrote the article that follows in 2005. It is a true story about an incident that occurred when I was pastoring my last church. I’ve since discovered that my article has been published on hundreds of Christian websites and forums. Interestingly, I’ve also discovered my article published on scores of Muslim websites, but always with any reference to Christianity or the Bible removed.

In any case, I thought it would be good this month to re-publish ‘The Brownie Surprise’ for the benefit of those who have never read this classic e-teaching. Enjoy and apply! — David

The Brownie Surprise - A Teaching by David Servant

Some years ago when I was a pastor, I walked into my church office after a Sunday morning service to find a sandwich bag on my desk containing three chocolate brownies. Some thoughtful and anonymous saint who knew my love for chocolate had placed them there, along with a piece of paper that had a short story written on it. I immediately sat down and began eating the first brownie as I read the following story:

#Me Too, Men Too

by David Servant

Note: This teaching is for adults only.

It certainly is rare for a culture to climb morally upward when it comes to sexual standards. Generally speaking, it seems that cultural sexual standards trend downward, and that trend has only accelerated with the advent of photography, movies, television and the internet. Over the past sixty years of my life, the sexual standards of American culture have sunk deeper by the decade.

#Me Too, Men Too E-Teaching by David Servant

Why Does God’s Judgment Sometimes Fall on Entire Families?

by David Servant

The Bible certainly contains plenty of stories about evil people getting what they deserve. Although God is longsuffering and merciful, there are limits to His tolerance, and unrepentant wrongdoers eventually reap what they’ve sown. When God’s mercy ends, His judgment begins.

Why Does God's Judgment Sometimes Fall on Entire Families?

I must confess that I enjoy reading Bible stories that feature bad guys getting what they deserve. (Don’t we all love justice—when it applies to other people?)  On the other hand, I’ve found myself concerned when I read biblical stories that seemingly portray God as unjust, when, for example, His judgment falls on the entire family of one wicked man. Why do children and spouses sometimes suffer for the sins of their ungodly family members? If you read the books of 1 and 2 Kings, for example, you’ll discover at least three such incidents. God’s wrath fell upon some families of evil men to the degree that, not only were their sons annihilated, but also other members of their extended families.

So how is that just? As Abraham said to Lord while he interceded for the people of Sodom: “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” (Gen. 18:25).

Let’s take a closer look at three kings of Israel—Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab, who all suffered familial judgment, to see if there is anything we can learn.

The End of Racism

by David Servant

Dear Friends,

This month I’ve decided to republish an e-teaching that now seems very relevant in light of what is occurring across the U.S. Once again, Jesus is the answer to every human problem, including racism. May this article help bring healing, and more importantly, may it bring glory to the One who created only one race—the human race—who universally share DNA that is more than 99% identical.


Have you ever observed a fly trapped behind your car’s windshield, fighting futilely to find an escape? All of your car’s side windows might be wide open, but it never occurs to that frustrated fly to try anything different than continuing to search for a way through an invisible, impenetrable barrier.

You can’t help but feel sorry for such a fly and, if you are bent towards mercy, you might try to swish him towards an open side window. Most flies, however, will resist your effort to help them, and your attempts only make them more determined to do the impossible. Eventually, they’re lying dead on your dashboard.

The pity we all feel for such frustrated flies is analogous to what followers of Christ feel every day for everyone else. We observe people’s recurring misery and frustration, and we know full well that so many of their problems could be resolved if they would only submit to Jesus. He would forgive them, open their eyes and set them free, fill them with His Spirit, and teach them His ways.

There’s a Sheep Born Every Second

by David Servant

Dear Friends, this month’s e-teaching is the re-publishing of a ‘classic’ that I wrote in 2006. It seems to have just as much relevancy as it did then, and I do hope it ministers to you. Every blessing, David

It was reported by the Associated Press that, near the town of Gavas, eastern Turkey, one sheep among a large flock walked to the edge of a cliff and jumped to its death. A second sheep quickly imitated the first, also leaping off the cliff to its death. Then a third sheep followed. Then a fourth. Then a fifth. The AP reported that “stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff.” When it was all over, 450 sheep had died and 1,050 survived, but only because those sheep that jumped later were saved as the pile of sheep got higher and the fall more cushioned.

"There's a Sheep Born Every Second" - An e-Teaching by David Servant

Imagine the peer pressure that last sheep must have felt. Surely 1,499 sheep can’t be wrong…can they?

Want the Coronavirus to “Pass Over” You? Here’s How.

by David Servant

If there is one word that defines humanity at the present time, it would be “fearful.” The novel coronavirus is currently terrorizing the entire world. Nearly half of humanity is confined within their homes and apartments, hoping they won’t be added to the statistics that are tracking the deadly wake of COVID-19. As I’m writing this, there have been about 1.5 million confirmed cases worldwide. 85,000 people have died so far. There will undoubtedly be tens of thousands of additional deaths.

Want the Coronavirus to "Pass Over" You? Here's How.

Of course, we all know we’re going to die someday. Most of us, however, don’t want to die soon. Life is good enough to want to preserve it. And what happens after death is a big question mark for many. So, is there a sure way to escape the threat of the coronavirus?

The Coronavirus: How Should We Pray?

by David Servant

As I’m writing this, the novel coronavirus has brought the world to a standstill. Nearly half of humanity is confined within their homes and apartments; streets and public places are empty, businesses have been shuttered for weeks; and governments are trying to cope with medical and economic disaster. So far, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of about 70,000 people. It appears that tens of thousands more will ultimately be left in its fatal wake. This virus is obviously designed to spread, and there is no stopping it.

The Coronavirus: How should we pray?

The Coronavirus: A Message from the God who Died of Something Much Worse

by David Servant

As I am writing this on March 13, 2020, the novel coronavirus, which originated in China in December of 2019, dominates the headlines. It has now spread to 70 nations, infecting some 146,000 people worldwide, of which about 5,500 have died and at least 71,000 have recovered.

The Coronavirus: A Message from the God Who Died of Something Much Worse

All those numbers continue to rise as COVID-19 spreads exponentially. Hospitals in the U.S. are now bracing for a rising tide of the virus that might overwhelm our heath care system, as it did in Italy. Mass hysteria has now become the norm. Politicians are shuttering all non-essential businesses and in some cases, telling everyone to stay home. Yet the data from around the world shows that only a small demographic is at risk of death. Most people, if infected, are not going to die. (For a reasoned article that questions the current shutting down of the U.S. economy, see

By comparison, the seasonal flu kills as many as 650,000 people worldwide annually. Of course, the coronavirus is just getting started.

Also by comparison, in the 14th century, the Black Death (Bubonic Plague) took the lives of 75 to 200 million people over a span of 8 years in Europe, Africa and Asia. Europe lost 60 percent of its population.

Finally, and also by comparison, about 57 million people worldwide die of all causes annually.

So there are at least two things we can say with certainty: Most likely, you are not going to die from the coronavirus. There is little doubt, however, that you are going to eventually die from something. (It is much more likely that you will die of heart disease or cancer.)