Have you loved someone so much that you would do anything for them? Maybe it’s your spouse, your significant other, your child, your sibling or your friend. I am not talking about the abusive love. I am talking about the kind of love that just flows out of your heart in all of your actions and words towards someone. This kind of love is precious so embrace it.

I was talking to my stepmom the other day and she said something that really stuck with me. She said, “Amber, you love your step-kids like they are Dave’s (my husband) left and right arms. That is why you can give selflessly to them with no expectation of anything in return”. Then she said, “When I married your dad (24 years ago), I knew you and your sister were your dad’s left and right arm so I chose to love you girls like his left and right arm.” I thought this was such a great analogy and it really helped me better understand what it means to deeply love someone. It also made me realize that all of the sacrifices as a step-parent, big or small, were more than worth it because it was an expression of my love not only to my step-kids but to my husband. None of this takes away from how awesome my step-kids are but I don’t expect my step-kids or anyone’s step-kids to be burdened with what their step-parent needs. Divorce is never the kids fault so the more you can minimize the impact on the kids, the better. That is why as a step-parent, you don’t put your emotional needs on your step-kids. You look to your spouse, loved ones or for me I look to God to fulfill my love tank instead. It’s not always easy. Sometimes doing the right thing means you miss out, but doing the right thing for the kids is always best. I learned this from my husband because his heart is always focused on doing what is best for the kids no matter the cost. And he chose to love me this way because God knows when I entered into our marriage, I was 150% self-absorbed and focused on me. Thank goodness my husband (and step-kids) loved me anyway and were willing to be patient with me as I learned how to love selflessly. As a matter of fact, the tipping point for me to love selflessly was when I realized I was loved selflessly by my husband and even more importantly by God. Then I started to see other people like my parents who loved me selflessly, just as I was—the good with the bad. The more I felt loved, the more love I could give.

The good news is that your selfless love will not go unrewarded. When you love others and you give to others, you will receive many rewards for that. Sometimes it is not always from those you give to but from others.

I dedicate this post to my amazing and selfless step-parents who showed me how to love with no expectation of love back. Both of them have gone above and beyond to give me an awesome life, opportunity and make both of my parents happy. Thank you both for being the example of a step-parent everyone would want so I could replicate all of the love you gave me with my step-kiddos!

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