"Jennifer Maggio"By Jennifer Maggio

Since I’m writing to a group of single parents, I figured we needed to go ahead and put this one out there – OFFENSE. Man, oh man, how I sprint to avoid bitter and offended folks! This may be hard for some to hear, but your hurt, your offense, your bitterness, and your unforgivness does nothing to THEIR lives. It does not hurt your ex-mother-in-law, your ex-husband, or your ex-boyfriend. In fact, they’ve probably forgotten what they did to offend you in the first place.

In having counseled literally hundreds of single moms, I can tell you that I have never sat with one mom who didn’t have a reason to be angry or hurt – not one. They all have a story. We all have a story.

I was astonished to recently stumble upon a single parent’s site that promoted “Tell-us-why-you-hate-your-baby’s-daddy Day”. Are you kidding me?! Am I the only one that sees the insanity in this?! What do you hope to accomplish? So…………..we paint little George’s daddy as a complete loser for not paying you child support or for beating you or whatever (albeit horrible things), then………. what? Who does it hurt? Let me answer this for you. YOU. It hurts you. For every time you relive the pain and revisit the conversations or the events that devastated you, you live in that moment.   It’s amazing that we sometimes cannot remember where we parked after a 15-minute grocery trip to Walmart, but we can remember for the next 15 years the exact conversation where someone offended us!

Your offense, bitterness, and unforgiveness holds you hostage. It’s what you wake up smelling like and the aroma you give off when others pass you by. If you are taking every opportunity to bash your ex, stop! Your children will appreciate it. Let go. Forgive. And, yes, that means you.

And this is not an opinion, it is a God thing. Ephesians 4:31 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” NLT.

You may be thinking, “But you don’t know what I’ve been through!” Single parents, I’ve had the deadbeat dad scenario in my own life. I’ve had the abuse. I’ve had the poverty. If anyone can play the victim role, it’s me! I choose to live life to its fullest. I choose to forgive every travesty that has been done to me. I made a choice that as for me and my household, we will rejoice and be glad in today alone. My past does not define my future. And there’s great freedom in that.

Author/Speaker, Jennifer Maggio, is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on single parent issues. She currently runs one of the naton’s largest single mom support groups and has helped to launch similar programs around the globe. She is a regular on television and radio. Her first book, Overwhelmed: The Life of a Single Mom, was met with fast success. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.