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Jennifer Maggio Christian Blog and Commentary

Jennifer Maggio


Jennifer Maggio is considered a leading authority on single parents and womens issues. She is an award-winning author and speaker who draws from her own experiences through abuse, homelessness, and teen pregnancy to inspire audiences everywhere. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and writes for dozens of publications. She has been featured with hundreds of media outlets, including The 700 Club, Daystar Television, Moody Radio, Focus on the Family, and many more. For more information, visit


With 15 million single mothers in the United States today, it is likely that you know a single mom. Maybe you were raised by one and saw how hard she worked to make ends meet and effectively balance the demands on her time. Many of the single mothers in our lives are juggling car pool, daycare, two jobs, or maybe career and secondary education. The list of demands are endless. We implore the body of Christ to actively look for ways to invest in single mothers and their children. Impact a single mom. Impact her children. Impact a nation.

That said, how can we, as loving, compassionate, members of the global body of Christ, reach out and show love to single mothers? Maybe the single parents in your life seem like they have it all together. There are some amazingly, strong single mothers today, and many are achieving success parentally and emotionally, while finding great freedom in their walk with the Lord. But even those strong, amazing single moms could use an occasional helping hand. 

Here are a few practical ways to brighten a single mothers’s day:

1. Babysit for free and do it often! Single mothers often work many hours per week and do not want to ask for help. They may even work a second or third job, or may be attending a local college, too. Babysitting can be expensive. Encourage single mothers in your life to take the night off. Even if a single mom has adequate childcare during the day, while she works, it is very unlikely that she is ever taking a night off to do something special for herself (or simply sleep)! Make an offer to babysit her children for an afternoon or evening, so that she can get a few things done around the house.  (It is always recommended that a strong relationship exist prior to making an offer to babysit one’s children).

2. Offer to grocery shop for her. Shopping is a simple task, but shopping alone with three children hanging from the buggy can seem overwhelming. The simple task of collecting groceries for the week may not seem like much, but this act of kindness can alleviate stress from a single mom’s regular routine and save her time that can be devoted to other things.

3. Give her some girl time. Sometimes the best way to serve a single mom is to invite her for coffee for some adult conversation. The Lord created us for fellowship. We know how important Godly friends in our lives are to our ability to grow, fellowship, and enjoy life.  Unfortunately, when times are busy and the demands of a schedule take over, friend time is often the first thing to go. Get to know a single mom in your church or community. Give her a listening ear. Give the opportunity to talk about something meaningful – her hopes and dreams. Let her know that you see her and that she is not alone.

4. Start a single mom support group in your church. What a way to be the body of Christ! Start a Bible study or Sunday School class just for single moms. Give them a place to feel comfortable and welcomed inside your church walls. It is estimated that approximately 2 out of 3 single mothers in the United States do not have a church home. Often, single mothers feel they are the only single mom in their church or community.  A single mom’s support group or Bible study gives single moms the opportunity to fellowship with others who are in a similar life season. Single mom’s ministries also give opportunities for new single moms to attend your local church, already knowing there will be a place for them to fit in and belong.  The Life of a Single Mom Ministries has worked with more than 1,500 churches of varying sizes and denominations, around the world, to assist in starting, growing, or improving a single mom’s ministry and outreach program, and we’re glad to help you get started.  (Even if you are not the one who should lead the ministry, committing to begin the dialogue with your church leadership is a great way to serve single moms. God will bring along the facilitator at just the right time).

5. Wash & fold clothes

6. Buy a single mom a free car wash or oil change.

7. Create a homemade gift that has an encouraging Scripture on it. Or use several Scriptures and write them on notecards or index cards that she can strategically place throughout her home, employment, and car, as a reminder of her Heavenly Father’s love for her.

8. Rent a movie and provide popcorn for a movie night.  Movie nights are a great way to provide entertainment for both single moms and their children, while also providing an opportunity to get to know her better.

9. Offer to do some yard work. Whether she’s a homeowner or renter, many single moms have the pressure of keeping their yard manicured.  Perhaps it is even an extra expense for her already-tight budget.  Offering to cut the yard for her on occasion is a great way to show the love of Christ.

10. Perform carpentry, home repairs, and odd & end jobs.  Married women often have what is referred to as a “honey-do list” for their spouses to perform on the weekend.  Maybe a single mom has a leaky sink, stubborn faucet, or some other light home repairs. For the handy man, this could be a practical way to serve.  (NOTE: We recommend that all men serve in groups of 3 or more. For more details on how men can serve single mothers and widows, visit New Commandment Men’s Ministries).

11. Clean her house or apartment. A little toilet bowl cleaner and windex can go a long way to show the love of Christ to a worn out single mother.

12. Buy her lunch. This is a creative way to not only save a single mom a few dollars, but bless her with some adult company while doing so.

13. Write a handwritten, personal note to a single mom in your life. Let her know how much she is loved and cared for, how valuable she is to her children and community, and highlight Scriptures of encouragement.

14. Provide gas money or groceries.

15. Save your travel-sized toiletries from hotel rooms and donate them to her. Toiletries can be expensive, and many hotels offer high-quality toiletries, free-of-charge that are often thrown away when a guest checks out. 

16. Cook a meal, or even help plan meals for the week. A slow-cooker meal requires almost no time to prepare, but can mean a great deal to a mom who is struggling to keep food on the table for her children.  Helping to plan meals for the week may be another way to remove the burden from her shoulder.

17. Start a running or walking group where single moms can bring their kids for exercise & girl-time. This can become a great time of community fellowship that can also double as a great way for the kids to get exercise.

18. Give a single mom a rose. In some cases, it could have been months or years since a single mother has receive fresh flowers. Discount stores and grocery stores often sell a dozen roses for $10.99 or less. What a beautiful gesture.

19. Bring cookies & baked goods to her home with an encouraging note. Or offer to bake cookies with her children while she takes a nap.

20. Bring a gift basket full of goodies. Some ideas could include cleaning supplies, toiletries, great women’s devotionals, candy, bottled waters, hair products, smelling lotions, or something similar.

21. Offer a day of window shopping, coffee, and a ride through town. It seems like a small act of kindness, but many of the single mothers we’ve worked with say that their lives consist of home, work, home, work, home, work, and they often feel they are “losing themselves” in the day-to-day grind of parenting and working. 

22. Visit a single mom! Make regular visits part of your weekly or monthly routine. Maybe the single mom lost her husband unexpectedly to an illness and she’s grieving. Maybe she has never actively been in a local church and isn’t comfortable trying it out yet.  Whatever the reason, make it a point to visit a single mom regularly. It just may save her life!

23. Commit to praying for a single mom regularly. Whether she knows it or not, make her (and her children) part of your regular prayer time. Pray for her children, like you pray for your own. Pray for financial provision, wisdom, favor with her employer, protection of her lives, healing for a wounded heart, and rest.  Commit to lift her up to the Lord. She needs it.

24. Offer tutoring or homework services for her children. When a mom has worked an 8-10 hour day and then has to come home to prepare dinner, wash the clothes for the evening, clean the house, and do homework, it can be exhausting.  Maybe one night a week, offer to do homework with her children. (This is especially helpful if you have children that are similar in age who may be taking similar classes).

25. Surprise her with a special gift.  Gifts don’t require lots of money. They require thought.  The most beautiful gifts given are those who have a meaningful purpose.  You can visit any dollar store or discount store and find beautiful journals for less than $5. Years may have passed since this single mom has received a special just-because gift.

Jennifer Maggio is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries (TLSM).  TLSM exists to ensure that no single mom walks alone. The global nonprofit, headquartered, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has worked with more than 1,500 churches to establish or grow a single mom’s ministry and outreach program. Additionally, the organization hosts events and provides curriculum, Bible studies, online education opportunities, newsletters, live chats, and free podcasts and videos for single mom encouragement. For more information, visit

Satan’s ploy is to steal, kill, and destroy. It is his vision, his mission, his very existence on this earth, to steal your joy, kill your relationships, and destroy fellowship among Christians. We have to understand that as ministry leaders in women's ministry, there will be things that arise.  Why? Because if you are truly impacting lives for the Kingdom of Christ, particularly women, who are raising up children in the way they should go, the enemy is scared. He is going to attempt to disrupt your ministry in a variety of ways.  Here are the best things you can do to guard against the disruption:

  • You have to be mature as a leader. You can’t be easily offended. You have to guard your heart. There will be times when the women will be critical of you. The volunteers may criticize. The church leaders or members may not say the right thing to you. Get over it. Please. I say that in love. Get over it. This work is too important. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. If something offends you or someone hurts you, give grace & move on. Don’t dwell. There is danger is the dwelling! The more you stay there, the bigger the issue becomes. So just resolve in your mind that no matter what happens, God has called you to this minister and he guides, who he calls.
  • Lay down the competitive spirit. Competition kills ministry. You aren’t competing with any other ministry in your church. You aren’t  competing with other women. You aren’t competing with other womens' ministries in your area or your state. There is no competition in ministry. We all have a role and a part. You aren’t competing with anyone within your group for the best speaking ability or singing voice or leadership skills. You are you. Walk in your role. SO much drama in ministry has to do with the fact that we don’t know our role. We aren’t confident in who God has created us to be. We should celebrate the successes of other women, other ministries. Celebrate their gifts. Celebrate their victories. Don’t compete.
  • Don’t ignore conflict. Handle it. Let’s say the conflict is with you and another member of the ministry, whether an attendee or a volunteer. You can’t just ignore the situation. The Bible says to take your problem to your brother first.  Unfortunately, what we sometimes have a tendency to do is either ignore it, because it’s uncomfortable and we don’t like conflict. Or we tend to talk to other people about it, so that we can somehow be right. Relinquish your desire to be right. The goal is healthy relationships and restoration of the relationship, not your ability to be right. So….that means sometimes you apologize, when it wasn’t your fault.  The conflict will get bigger when it isn’t handled. This is critical in ministry. 
  • Understand that “problem” women are simply hurt.  Yes, there will be what we consider to be "problem" people in our ministry. They are broken. Maybe they are past abuse victims. Maybe they’ve been so disappointed by so many that they do things like lie or gossip or manipulate or need to control or offend or maybe talk too much. Whatever the problem is, understand there is a root to the problem. Relationship helps these women heal.  God loves you so much and trusts you so much that he has now positioned you to shepherd another group of women. This is big. And the more you foster relationships and create a safe space for these women, the less likely you are to battle the “problem” . Listen, we all have problems. Issue tons of grace, when they don’t say the right thing in group or behave the right way. Love them. They need you to love them. You are Christ’s ambassador.
  • Don’t judge these women. The last thing that the women in your ministry need is a finger-pointing leader who is constantly dissecting why they are sinning. Now, this comes in lots of forms. Here’s what often happens. We, as leaders, are so excited that God has done the miraculous in our lives. We love Him so much and we just want the world to know about His goodness. Those are all great things. But if we aren’t very careful, we translate that excitement into, “Well let me tell you the 5 things you need to do to fix your life.” And then, when she doesn’t do those things, or we go around the same mount with her over and over again, we just tend to finger point or become disappointed and frustrated.  Okay, so I’ve been in women's ministry for a decade. I have seen God do the supernatural. I have seen him set women free of addiction in a moment. I have seen women’s lives transformed in a moment. I have seen the miraculous. I know hundreds of women personally that God has redeemed. But….I also have some of the same women in my local ministry that were there 10 years ago, talking about the same things, making the same mistakes. Thank God that He didn’t give up on us, when we failed.
  • Always honor your spiritual authority! No matter what. ALWAYS honor your spiritual authority.  (The only exception is illegal or immoral behavior). Maybe you have a pastor or a women’s ministry leader or missions pastor that has been unbearable in your opinion. Maybe they’ve been unfair. Maybe they’ve not been as supportive as you would’ve hope. You honor them. Pray for them. Do not talk about them with ANYONE. The more you talk about them, the more bitter seeds you plant. God is in control. God will speak to them or remove them. ​
  • Give challenged women a task to complete. Listen, I’m not naïve to think that you aren’t going to have some problem women in your group from time to time. I understand. Now, their job isn’t going to be mentoring other women, of course! But maybe the job is, "Hey, I really need some help with organizing the food each week. Would you be willing to help get volunteers to cook the meal?" Whatever that looks like for your ministry, give women a task. Maybe it’s sending emails or inputting data or follow-up welcome calls or set-up or clean-up or greeters & welcome team. Whatever you need, give them the task. Whatever the root issue is that may make her defensive or a busy-body or whatever could likely be addressed over time, as she finds value in her service to others.

Jennifer Maggio is a national author and speaker, mom to three, wife of Jeff, and CEO/Founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is chauffeur, chief dishwasher, carpool queen, and duct tape aficionado. But more importantly, she is passionate about teaching women how to find complete freedom in Christ. For more information, visit



One of my dearest friends and I have known each other for more than twenty years. Years ago, we both lived in the same apartment complex and often shared meals to save money.  We had very little to call our own. As young single moms, we had furnished our government-issued apartments, albeit sparingly, with previously-owned, heavily-used, furniture, bedding, dishes, and the like.  Often, we were the thankful recipients of other’s throwaways. We stretched every dollar, farther than imaginable. We worked long hours and often had more debt than dollars. We clipped coupons, worked multiple jobs, held garage sales, etc. – whatever was necessary to ensure we provided for our young families. There is something about my friend that struck me years ago, and it is still true today.  She is the most grateful woman I have ever met. I mean, she is truly, truly grateful. Whatever the season, this girl just oozes thanksgiving. Sadly, I cannot say that I exhibit that same sense of gratitude every day.

I have become increasingly aware of the lack of gratitude that many of us suffer with. There is a seemingly growing trend among people who have a sense of expectation that something is somehow owed to us for our very existence.

Do you know what is owed to us?  Death. We are owed eternal separation from God, according to Romans 6:23. But God, in His amazing grace, chose to send us a Savior. God paid the price for grace we never deserved.  When has it been acceptable to be angry about not getting something that no one ever owed us?

It seems that many of us think that what we have is never enough. We always want more. If we’re hungry and the food bank is passing out bread, we want two loaves instead of just one. If the church is giving away free coffee after Sunday service, we’re irritated that it isn’t Starbucks and not just a simple off-bard. If we’re single, we want to be married. If we’re married, we want a better spouse. We want to be thinner, prettier, and richer. We want a good job, then a better one. Then, that job is no longer the best job, so we search for the next job. And we’re raising children who are just as bad. They often aren’t grateful for the new toy, they want the best toy. They aren’t sensitive to financial boundaries, because culture (that’s us) permeates the greed of more, more, more. And the pursuit of that façade will never make us happy or fulfilled or thankful.

Read Exodus 16: 1-8.

As a child, can you remember possessing a sense of wonder about the world? Do you remember looking to the sky in awe of how big and blue and impressive it was? Do you remember saying childhood prayers where you thanked God for the flowers, the trees, and the very air you breathed? We were thankful for moms and dads and sisters and brothers, a roof over our heads, and food in our bellies. What age does that shift? When do we stop being thankful for the little things and the big ones that God has provided? When do we determine that only the ones we deem big are worth thanking God for? In fact, what gives us the right to even categorize any of God’s blessings on our lives as small?

We need to shift our perspective today, friends.  We need to be focused on gratitude.  Consider, What are the things in my life that I can be thankful for, not the things in my life I lack?

There are some things we need to understand about our circumstances in order for us to shift from complaining to gratitude.

  • God’s provision is always enough.  Look at Exodus 16:17-18, “So the people of Israel did as they were told. Some gathered a lot, some only a little. But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed.”

My provision doesn’t look like your provision.  What I need in my life is different from what you need in your life.  Maybe you’re in a season where God wants to show you some things, so you don’t have a lot, and you’re learning to navigate on just a little, or you’re learning some things about the wilderness, He’s teaching you some things about faith.   Or maybe you’re in a reaping season, because you’ve sown lots of good seeds and God is blessing you in this season. Sometimes, God hasn’t given us what we asked for, because we don’t need it, or maybe we haven’t been faithful with what He’s already done. 

Sadly, many of us are grateful for God’s provision for about 30 seconds.  Then, we move on to the next thing we want.  God always has a plan.  When the Red Sea was parted, it wasn’t this last-minute, impulsive move on God’s part. He always knew he had a way.  He has a plan and purpose for you, as well.  Take some time to journal what God is doing for you. Write it down and save it.  Create a gratitude journal or a gratitude jar.  Look back over the months and years of how faithful God has been. 

God will always do more than we think. He will provide in ways that we can’t even think about asking Him for. He’ll do things that are substantial, miraculous, earth-shattering, and life-changing.  He knows what He’s doing. Trust Him to do it and get grateful about it.


  • What you choose to focus on matters.  Exodus 16:9-10 says, “Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Announce this to the entire community of Israel: Present yourselves before the Lord, for he has heard your complaining,’. And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the Lord in the cloud.”  Just a couple of versus before they had been complaining about what they didn’t have. In fact, verse 2 indicates that they had been complaining about their circumstances, even before that.

When you choose to shift your perspective, you can see God’s handiwork all around you.  We may not have everything we are praying for right now, but there are others with greater needs, greater lack. God is a good God who provides. 

What do you have? Do you have healthy children? Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have access to transportation? Do you have a best friend? Do you have a loving church? A job? Education? Breath?

If we aren’t grateful for THIS thing, we will never be grateful for THAT thing – whatever that thing is. It’s so true.  That new hair color, promotion, ministry opportunity, car, job, house, friend, boyfriend --- none of those things will ever do. Because we are always choosing to focus on the next best thing. 

Contentment is a choice. Choose to be grateful. Paul writes about this so famously in Phil. 4:11-13, and I’m paraphrasing, “ I have learned to be content with whatever I have, whether a little or a lot, empty stomach or full… and he finishes with, For I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.”  In other words, God is going to give me what I need in the season I need it, so I’m going to choose to be thankful for where I am and what I’m doing right now. .

  • Your obedience matters.  Exodus 16:19-20, “Then Moses told them, ‘Do not keep any of it until morning.’ But some of them didn’t listen, and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Moses was very angry with them.” 

What is in your life right now that was meant to be a blessing, but is now beginning to stink, because you haven’t obeyed? When God gives a command, He’s not messing around.  It isn’t optional.  Submission, in today’s culture, has become a dirty word. Submitting to anything has become offensive.  Some may even say, “Do what you want to do. You are free to live how you want to live.” Yes, God has given you a free will to make choices, but His perfect will is that you obey Him, that you trust the plans he has for you.  We get into trouble when we choose not to obey.  Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. But his disobedience left him dead in the wilderness. He never entered the Promised Land. He chose to disobey God and what’s worse, He chose to do it when others were looking.

People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD. Prov. 19:3

Ouch. That's a tough verse.  We have to get better at obedience. We have to learn to be thankful for all God has done and recognize that his guidance for our lives isn't some rigid set of rules, but rather a loving father whose gentle hand is guiding us and protecting us.

The truth is:  We have all that we need for today.  We can do all things through Christ. we are blessed and highly favored. we are called and chosen. So be thankful.

Jennifer Maggio is a national author and speaker, mom to three, wife of Jeff, and CEO/Founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is chauffeur, chief dishwasher, carpool queen, and duct tape aficionado. But more importantly, she is passionate about teaching women how to find complete freedom in Christ. For more information, visit