Q: My wife and I have a good marriage. I'd like to make it even better, but I'm not very adept at the "warm and fuzzy" stuff. How do I move our relationship from good to great?
Jim: I hear this type of question a lot from men. I think it's basically a matter of perspective, so I encourage them to approach their relationships with their wives like they would a teammate.
Like a lot of guys, I was involved with sports throughout my childhood, and I've spent my adult years working with some great organizations. One thing I know: When you create a culture of respect and hard work among teammates, you can be successful at just about anything. I once heard a two-time Super Bowl champion say it this way: "When teammates give their best as individuals, they make each other better."
The best teams aren't always those with the best players. Winning often comes down to teammates who are willing to work hard themselves and to motivate one another toward excellence. Play as hard for the guy next to you as you do for yourself. That's key to success -- not just in sports, but also in business, and particularly in marriage.
Your wife is your teammate through life. Be willing to work as hard at your relationship with her as you do your job, your business or the hobbies you give so much time to. Know your role on the team and handle your business. I'm sure she has a few things that she needs to work on, too, but that shouldn't be your primary focus. You'll only motivate her to improve her part in your marriage if you step up and improve yours. And when everybody does their part, the team succeeds.
For more ideas to help your marriage thrive, visit FocusOnTheFamily.com.
Q: Like most teens, ours are never without their smartphones. They're good kids, but I've heard there are apps these days that look innocent, but actually hide photos and videos. Tell me about that.
Bob Waliszewski (Director) and Bob Hoose (Senior Editor), Plugged In: Yes, unfortunately, there are quite a few of these sneaky applications. We'll highlight just two to make a point.
The first is an app designed to look and function as a calculator (Private Photo–Calculator). If you want to calculate how many miles per gallon you got on your last tank full, it'll do the trick. But once someone enters the right set of numbers -- something that's set up with the app's first use -- it opens a private area and reveals all the various pictures, videos and notes a user may have tucked away under the calculating cover.
The other app declares itself to be an innocuous audio manager (for both Android and iOS), but it, too, hides away stuff the user doesn't want spying eyes to see. On the surface, it's indeed a functional audio app. But if you give it a long press, the actual "Hide It Pro" will launch. And, under a password lock-out, it can hide pictures, videos and even other apps. You can find several tutorials on YouTube from people who, sadly, think this app is a great idea.
If you're wondering whether your teen might have such an application, you'll want to go to the app store while using the phone in question. Then type in the word "secret" or "calculator" or any other app name you may have questions about in the store's search feature. As you scroll through, if you see the word "Open" or "Installed" connected with any given app, well, that means junior has it on the phone -- and it's probably time for a serious conversation about why.
Jim Daly is a husband and father, an author, and president of Focus on the Family and host of the Focus on the Family radio program. Catch up with him at www.jimdalyblog.com or at www.facebook.com/DalyFocus.
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