Blog  /  Marriage, Parenting, Resources  /  6 Best Apps to Supercharge Your Relationships

Technology is now an integral part of our lives and relationships. And while many parents rightly worry about the negative effects of technology in our kids’ lives and our society as a whole, I think it’s also important to acknowledge how it can be a force for good.

With that in mind, I polled the Family Matters staff to see what apps they felt made their lives better; apps that improved their relationships with God, with family and with friends.

Closer relationship with God:

1.) Read Scripture is more than a Bible app. I still love my YouVersion digital Bible for its searchability and study features, but I have really been enjoying using this new app for my daily reading. What makes Read Scripture unique and powerful is that it helps the user understand the ongoing narratives and over-arching themes of scripture using engaging explainer videos (like the one below) placed strategically throughout the reading plan. Each day’s reading includes a few sequential chapters starting in Genesis, as well as one Psalm and many of the days include a video as well. I also like that each reading is not assigned a day of the week or a date, so if you can’t read every day you don’t ever feel like you get “behind.” You simply pick up where you left off and keep reading. And because readings aren’t date specific, you don’t have to wait till January to start reading. Start now and enjoy the richness of God’s word.

Cost: Free

Available for: Apple and Android

2.) Pray as You Go will help you become more aware of God’s presence in your life. I don’t know about you, but I often forget that the Holy Spirit is just a breath away. I try to pray during my quiet times, but my ADHD brain is constantly wandering. This app gives you a daily prayer session that lasts between ten to thirteen minutes and guides you through a meditative process of reflection, contemplation and conversation with God.

Cost: Free

Available for: Apple and Android

Apps that improve your relationship with family:

3.) Conversation Starters-Make Every Day Count is an app produced by Focus on the Family that will help you have meaningful conversations with your kids at every age and stage of their lives. Research has consistently shown that speaking words to our kids, especially in very early childhood, leads to higher IQ’s, better verbal communication skills and deeper social/interpersonal development. And while the most important thing is that you simply talk to your kids…A LOT…it’s great if those conversations can make them think about what they believe and build their character. This app helps busy parents have age appropriate conversations about topics like dating, faith, friends, money and more.

This screenshot is a great example of how you can customize topics to the age and gender of your kids.

Cost: Free

Available for: Apple

4.) PhotoMath, where have you been all my life!?! This might not seem like the type of app that would improve your relationships but let me tell you this: in our house, math homework was a monster that was consuming our joy and causing tension and strife. My daughters are in high school now and their math is far outside of my ability to help them. Fix it, Jesus. PhotoMath allows you to use your device’s camera to take a photo of the math problem, and then the app breaks down the steps to find the solution. Rather than just doing the problem for your student, it empowers and teaches them how to do it themselves. It shows your student different ways to approach a problem, as well as step by step instructions to solve even the most complex equations…even word problems! I can only imagine how much a tool like this would have helped me when I was in school.

No more fights over math homework, and my kids are actually understanding what they are learning. And all God’s people said, “Amen.”

Cost: Free (basic version). In app purchases available for upgraded features.

Available for: Apple and Android

Apps that improve your relationships with your friends:

5.) Marco Polo isn’t my best friend, but it has helped me get real face to face time with my BFFs. It’s a video messaging app that combines everything we love about video calls and text messaging. In my opinion, it’s social networking at its most personal. With my busy mom life, I found I couldn’t carve out much time to use technology like FaceTime or Skype because both my friend and me would have to schedule a time to chat, and that was near impossible. With Marco Polo, I can send them a face to face message at my convenience and they can watch it and respond at theirs. This app has helped me maintain a more heart connected relationship with some of my mom friends, and I think the same would be true for families.

Cost: Free

Available for: Apple and Android

6.) Garden is an app that reminds you to reach out to the people that matter most to you. In today’s world, we get busy and we put off connecting with our friends and loved ones, thinking that someday our lives will slow down and we will get to catch up. Reality? Life never slows down. And just like a garden doesn’t grow without nurturing, friendships become stagnant without our intentional care. The Garden app was created by a guy who lost a friend. It had been years since he had talked with his friend and he was filled with regret over the missed opportunities. Garden allows you to set reminders among your contacts to reach out, how that person prefers to be contacted, and the frequency you intend to connect with them.

Garden lets you set reminders to reach out to your friends and loved ones.

Cost: Free

Available for: Apple and Android

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What about you? What apps do you feel make your relationships better, and why do you love them? Tell us more in the comments.

 

 

 

Karis Kimmel Murray is the author of Grace Based Discipline: How to Be at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their Worst and the Creative Director of Family Matters®, a ministry who’s internationally hosted parenting and marriage events, radio and television broadcasts, articles, videos, website and best-selling books (written by Karis’ parents and Family Matters’ founders Dr. Tim and Darcy Kimmel,) Grace Based Parenting and Grace Filled Marriage, have been used by God to transform tens of thousands of families into instruments of His restoration and reformation.
Karis writes and speaks for Family Matters as a voice to the next generation of parents. Karis is co-host of The Family Matters Minute, a nationally syndicated one-minute radio segment heard by millions of listeners every weekday.
Karis lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband Mike, their two teenage daughters and a ragamuffin menagerie of pets.

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