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How To Love Step Children

Describe how Christians succeed at raising children in a stepfamily. I have a hard time treating my stepdaughter the same as my own daughters. I treat her as I do other guests or visitors when she is here every other weekend. My husband wants me to love her exactly the same as my children.

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 ---melissa on 7/13/06
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I have exactly the same scenario.i have asked the Lord to show me how to love her as my own.It is hard i must confess esp.when the dad puts her as his first priority.I get jealous,can you believe it?But with help from Our Heavenly Father,you find it much easier to relate and even love her.
---Lyne on 3/8/11

Step-Parents, you want to save your step-kids, build a good marriage - the feelings will eventually show. Learn to say, I love you but these are the rules. Spend time with both your kid alone and the step-kid alone and let huddby/wife do the same - you will be surprised at how watching a movie in silence can impact you. Be yourself it's the best medicine. If something is not working change it - you have more power then you think. People, please stop judging one another - especially when you have NEVER been in another persons shoes - you can't speak about selfishness when you have obviously never had a fist in your face - or someone shatter your life with an adulterous action.
---Amanda on 12/31/10

I have 2 biological children(boys-11 and 14) and am divorced from their father. He died in 08 but did not have contact with them for over a year before his death. I am in a relationship now for over 4 years and we still have issues with children. He has one biological child(boy-11). I struggle with their pain of losing their dad and I am obcessed that my significant other make sure that he does nothing extra for his child that he wouldn't do for my 2. I try to be understanding and I know he needs individual time with him, but I hurt so bad for my 2 because I don't want them to ever feel rejected. My man tries really hard but it's still obvious sometimes to me that there is favoratism. I don't want my insecurities to affect my children.
---Brenda_Massengill on 11/17/10

When I remarried I became mom in every sense of the word. I was divorced for ten years with a teen son. They lost their Mom to cancer when they were toddlers. It is ONLY by true surrender to God that one can love. It has not been in my own strength.I love them as if they were my own.I can't imagine how people couldn't love children that Christ has placed in their lives through remarriage.DIE to self and pick up that cross daily, quit letting the ex/deceased spouse cloud your viewpoint.I later learned their Mom had prayed for someone to love her children as their own. That was my prayer the years I was single to have the capacity to love and that the Lord would expand my heart to love any children He blessed me with through remarriage.
---Vickie on 9/16/10

hello my name is dee dee it's not that i don't love him he's only 3yrs old im just feeling so jelous when he's around i mean this sound's so mean to me.But i feel so left out when he's around. please help me with this please it's not fair to the baby or my hubby.
---dee_dee on 9/14/10

Hi, Amanda,

I am the single father of three little ones. I have decided not to get remarried for different reasons.

I have to ask: if love is a feeling, the how can it be unconditional? Our emotions or feelings change all the time based on our circumstance, therefore feeling are based on condition. To me, love is a committment and that makes it unconditional.

If we treat our step children with commitment to the spouse instead of personal feelings that vary, we then would always be able to love equally.
---aka.joseph on 7/8/10

As I mentioned before, love is a feeling, especially UNCONDITIONAL love.You can show your step children love without having to "love" them as much as your own children.Also, you referred to the step children as "baggage".As a Christian, you are judgemental and trying to make the step parents on this site feel bad when they have nothing to feel bad about and are obviously trying their best.
---Amanda on 7/8/10

Rhonda,Please tell me what selfish ACTS those getting divorced are committing?Is it healthier for the children to stay in an unhappy or abusive environment? If you remarry and are in a safe and happy household, isn't that being Not selfish to the children? Your happiness reflects on the childrens' happiness.It is not always a "wreckage" as you state it is.Most step parents on this site are really trying to make the best of their new families, and to worry about not loving their step children as much as their own children is telling me that they are truly good people trying to make their step child's life better. They are being too hard on themselves.
---Amanda on 7/8/10

You've not said how old your step-daughter is, or how old she was at the time you married her father.

That can certainly affect attitudes, can it not?
---Cluny on 7/4/10

But for you to say "how can someone not love their shepchildren,the blood of their spouse" simply does not understand.

Amanda you are right I don't understand the absolute selfishness of divorce - I only understand the wreckage it leaves behind by the children who must put up their parents spouses very selfish ACTS - I want my new spouse but will tolerate and treat fairly their children??

as a mother of two different generations of children, raising my nieces and nephews mostly full-time I only have UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for them ...just as I do all of my friends kids who are one of the "treated fairly" baggage of the newest spouse
---Rhonda on 7/3/10

Hello, I disagree with Rhonda for stating that a step parent is "selfish" for not loving her/his step children. I guess you would not understand and easily judge if you are not in the situation. I am a step mother of three children and I have two biological children. "Love" is a feeling, you can not just force it. I absolutely love my children more than my step children, this is an unconditional love, but as a christian, I treat my step children fairly, I treat them with the utmost respect and am loving towards them. But for you to say "how can someone not love their shepchildren,the blood of their spouse" simply does not understand.
---Amanda on 7/2/10

the damage of divorce is devastating on children

so how is it so many marry their latest greatest new and improved spouse and claim they love the newer spouse

YET somehow they feel nothing or not a "deep" love like their own children for their spouses children

amazing most cannot see their own contradiction and selfishness ...loving this new spouse yet unable or unwilling to love their new spouses flesh and blood children

remarriage is so destructive and wrecks so many childrens lives ...children are not stupid they understand and comprehend full well their parents new spouse isolates and rejects them ...I see and feel the pain of these kids everyday they are my childrens friends it is heartbreaking
---Rhonda on 6/11/10

What are you talking about? It is not hard to love. Love and ask God to give you love for your children whether they come from your body or God has chosen to give them to you by other means. If God brought you to be with your husband then he has given his children to you to raise. Open your heart to them and God will give you love for them.
---Julie on 6/10/10

I struggle with this myself. I have 2 bio children and 2 step children. Initially I thought I could love them as my own children but now it has been over 2 years and I am still struggling. I pray to God that He gives me strength to love them just as my own. It should be simple as their mom passed away. My expectations are maybe too high? Even my own spouse I love sometimes out of duty and my own children sometimes out of duty. It makes sense to that our step children can annoy us as well, yet we still love them. I wish I could feel the same for them as my own which is not the same as not loving them, which some of you have equated. I believe that we are here because we truly want to seek out an answer and that means we do love our step children.
---melissa on 4/27/10

I've struggled with much of the same thing. I have three children from a previous marriage, whom I love very much. My new husband and I have a child together. He has two children from a previous marriage, so we have a total of 6 children.

I think it is normal. We birth, raise, love and nurture our own children from day one. Our step-children bonded with a different mother. Bonding takes time. For me, I can say I love my step-children, but not as deeply as my own, due to these factors.

Life is not easy, and step-families are no picnic. But, with patience, prayer, and dedication, love can grow.

God bless you.
---Diane on 4/22/10

Tell your husband that his daughter and youself have not grown up together and made intimate historical experiences together as you have with your own daughters. Therefore it is not possible to have equal life experiences with his daughter when you and his daughter did not live through the years together, as you have daily with your own daughters. As fas as acceptance and loving her, this will take time to get to know her, as it takes time with any new addition to a famnily.
---Eloy on 12/7/09

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I ran across this blog this morning in hopes of finding some insight to the subject of loving step-children. I struggle to love my wife's children. I don't completely understand the dynamics involved. I have 3 blood children and we lost my ex-wife after 24 years of marriage to a younger man. I hardly have any relationship with my own kids now as they struggle to accept my new family. It's been 3 years now.

Maybe it's harder to accept them because I've lost my own blood children. They are grown and gone.
---Ross on 12/7/09

THANK GOD adoptive parents JUST LOVE their adopted children as if they were their own

how selfish parents are today - GET their new spouse then treat their new spouses children like guests - REJECTING precious gifts of children from God

cold heartless person one must be to not LOVE a child because they are not biologically "theirs"

in divorce children are simply possessions - pawns for self centered self absorbed parents and baggage if not "their own"

my childrens friends who come from divorced homes are treated in our home as if they were our very own - with abundant unconditional love - for these kids it means so much as they learn to work through REJECTION from their parents new spouse
---Rhonda on 11/16/09

do you love your spouse? did you know he/she had chldren by previous marriage before you married that person? Then how can you say, i don't love what is of you--or i can only treat them as guests in your home?
i can only tell you what God did for me. I sought God and prayed and asked him to put a mother's love towards my stepchilden--as i had gave birth to them myself.

God honored that request. This did not happen over night, it took months and months of prayer and seeking God, they are my children. My family looks at my two eldest children as my children,no steps
Get before God and seek him in this. We being natural parents know how to give good gifts, then God being God knows how to give even better gifts.
---jodollie on 11/15/09

I've been a step-child and have a step-son. My advice to you is from personal experience. My step-mother was not the best step-mom and because of it, I held alot of resentment towards her over the years. In September she passed away at the age of 58. We didn't expect her to pass away. It brought alot of old feelings to the surface and I wish I had treated her differently. She did form me into the person I am today because she raised me with my father. It has made me the best step-mom to my 4 y/o step-son. I love him but I know I will never love him the way I love my own children. I definitely try my hardest to make him feel comfortable and loved and I know he loves me by his actions. Take the time to try and that is all you can do.
---Trish on 10/28/09

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I have a hard time with anyone who calls treats step children differently then their own children. All kids need to be told everyday that you love them. I have full custody of my two sons and I have three step daughters that I consider my daughters. I tell them everyday I love them even if they don't say it back I am the grown up. Those of you that claim you are Christians but don't love your step children should really take a deep look at yourselves. All children should be told they are loved. As far as I am concerned any person that can't tell their step child they love them or are jealous of their step child either need to grow up themselves, seek therapy, or do not claim to be Christians. Tell your children everyday that you love them!
---Michael on 8/17/09

Hi, Kacey . . . I do suspect ones who have been divorced may still have their tendencies that got them married without making sure with God, and so they now can move on to more trouble. So, I'd say one basic is to look at myself, about this, and how I can fool myself. If you and he belong together, I'd think you can pray and reach agreement on how you bring up this boy, and show him a "united front" > i.e. > God is making us one, and you and Satan are not going to turn this into him and-versus me (o: And, "nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:3) Be God's example, "there for him", so he can learn from how you two love..
---Bill_bila5659 on 8/6/09

What happened to his real mother Kacey?

because if she did not pass way or commit fornication, or was not married to his father then you have to work out why you put yourself in the position in the first place!

Children don't make mistakes in marriages parents do, children don't understand parents do, Children don't ask to be born parents do, so when children need to be loved unconditionally it's the parents that have to!!!! .

---Carla3939 on 8/6/09

regena: cassie,donna,all - I am comforted to read that there is another out there...I do not feel anything for my 7 yr old stepdaughter except the occasional irritation. I have prayed for God to soften my heart."

Chidren can somehow sense what a another person feels. More so between a child and the parent. It comes from the heart. If you don't want to have a have a heartfelt relationship with that child, that child will not develop a deep relationship with you. It all starts from the heart, not the mind. Do an online KJV bible search for "one another," "each other," and "ecnourag" and apply what you learned to the child.
---Steveng on 8/5/09

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this reply is for kacey, i grew up in a separated home and i had to visit my dads home on the weekends, and he was married to a woman that i truly despised, but what i would say for you to do is this: even though you may not get along with your significant others son all the time, you need to talk to your sig. other and tell him how you feel about the situation, becuase if the two of you are to get married one day, you should be the most important person in your spouses life, second to God, and your spouse needs to realize that if you are not comftorable in the ways he treats his son in front of you, you both need to make some rules together about how that son can behave in your house, it ultimately is your house, not his.
---nicole on 8/5/09

A woman who is a mother is married to a man who has kids, and she does not love his children. I have understood that a woman with mothering capability can very readily and easily love *any* children she can spend time with. Your neighbor's children can come over and be loved. A teacher can get to love all her kids in her class or classes. I think of how Jesus says it is adultery to marry a divorced person, except in the case of "fornication", or "sexual immorality", and ones say also in cases of abuse. But even if this is correct, this does not mean the divorced person is right for marriage. So . . . maybe check each individual, your relating, and maybe make sure you really love any children, before you get together.
---Bill_bila5659 on 8/5/09

i have no children of my own. i have a significant other that i love very much and most times i love his 8 year old son, even though he is quite the crybaby. he is only here every other weekend and insists on sleeping in the same bed as his dad, which is not normal to me. he is NEVER discipined here because "he is only here every other weekend and his time here shouldn't be spent being punished" even when he is behaving like a BRAT. i don't get it and definitely don't agree with all that goes on...but im not his mother, as he so often reminds me and everyone else when he's here....what can i do???
---kacey on 8/5/09

Try to love her the best you can. It's not natural to expect someone to feel exactly the same about a stranger or a step-child as you do about your very own children. Treat your stepdaughter as kindly as you can & try to love her with that agape love Christians should have toward each other. If you do those things, don't let your husband bother your conscience.
---Betty on 7/17/09

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Hi, I confess I failed miserably at loving my former stepchildren. But then, they refused to open their hearts to me in all the time I was with their father (6 years of hell!) so my heart hardened towards them too. Adults may be the responsible one, but we can be hurt by children too--we're not perfect.
---Mary on 7/15/09

it is not so easy with step children but you will have to make the effort
for some it comes more naturally for others with much effort
it is good you have identified your weakness

yes to help your own self,try be friends
2.treat her like you will treat your child eg ask yourself before you react 'how will i relate to my child "Abi" if she did this?'

3.Give her reason to look forward to coming for the weekend, allow play/fun with her other siblings (your children) without too much interruption. help them to be friends

with time, the feeling will get better

4.leave discipline to her dad since it may be easily misunderstood

don't expect too much from her

wish you all the best....
---PAT on 7/13/09

Well all i can say is cherish the relationships you do have with them.
My husbands children, 4 ranging in age from 23 to 30 have totally disowned me.
His ex wife threw him out and then we got to gether BUT she has convinced them that he would have crawled back to her (her words not mine) if not for me and so i am the 'scarlet' woman !!
How can you love and accept people that refuse to acknowledge you ?
I had such dreams, I can honestly say I loved them from the start because they were his but they have gradually eroded that and now I feel bitterness, dislike and disinterest in the lot of them. How can I keep trying to reach them and stop my heart from hardening further?
---jan on 6/27/09

treat her the same way you treat your own an she will treat you with the same respect she would her real mom i am the prould father of 4 2 step children an 2 of my own i treat them all the same an love them all the same
---kenny on 5/25/09

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cassie,donna,all - I am comforted to read that there is another out there...I do not feel anything for my 7 yr old stepdaughter except the occasional irritation. I have prayed for God to soften my heart. That hasn't happened yet. What to do besides pray? You talk about loving your sd as your own, or making friends with the child. Right now, I do not want to be friends, and I cannot imagine ever loving another's child like I do the children that I bore and nurtured and raised. This situation is weighing my heart down - if I could just "decide' to like her, please believe me, I would! I cringe inside when she asks for a hug. It is so so sad.
---regena on 4/22/09

HELP ME JESUS: Never play favorites. Not with no person. You must treat everyone the same. BE NICE. As it suits you. God has spoken.
---catherine on 2/22/09

Depends on the reason why you pretend to like her when really you don't.

What are circumstances of your marriage is his X wife dead?

regardless that's something you have to work out!

The loving of another human being comes with Love FIRST and understanding salvation next.

You are to love your neighbour who you don't know/know regardless as you would your own self with that loving her the same as your own should be inbuilt through Christ.
---Carla3939 on 2/21/09

We do the "family" thing completely from the Christian home standpoint. We are involved in fellowship and church and have devotionals each night here in the home as well as discussions about our lives from God's perspective. I am kind, I reach out to the stepchildren. I just don't FEEL anything. My "kindness" is out of obedience to God and desire to do right by my husband...I would love to CHERISH and LOVE these children...I just feel numb and sometimes resentful toward them even though I treat them well.
---Melinda on 1/31/09

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We, as Christians, are adopted into the family of God. Whosoever is adopted, God treats all the same. All children are a heritage from God who requires parents to train their children in a God-centered way. The bible says that the father is primarily responsible for training children and must mange his family well and see that the children obey and respect him. If he cannot train up the child following God's pattern, then how is the child going to obey and respect God?

God delights in the praise and worship of children. Do an online bible search of "one another," "each other," and "encourag" to bring unity into the family. Living a Christian life is a 24/7 lifestyle and must meet everyday.
---Steveng on 1/26/09

M:-The young step children are not teens but Young women obviously aware of what goes on in the world and you do have cause for concern b/c of the tender age of Your own biological Daughter.Maybe you can convince your husband,to convince His daughters to cool such adult talk in front of a 9Year old.Tell your daughter that Her time will come to learn the facts of Life in the proper prescribed time and that you will teach it to herb/cwhat she is learning from her sisters ia inapppropriate.Good luck with your dilemmma.
---MIC on 1/26/09

I have a 12-y/o boy and a 9 y/o girl. I think that because my biological children have not reached the teens yet, every issue these girls bring to the home is brand new and scary and unfamiliar. My husband's younger son is 13, I have known him 4 years and I don't have any problems relating to him...I think growing with them from younger must be easier???

I am still looking for insight and prayer and thank you VERY much for input!!!

---Melinda on 1/26/09

M:-You have your own child?What if that child over rides your authority How would you handle the situation, would you beat him/her, overlook or get into a rage or Just give him/her a smile of love and later sit Him?Her down and find out the reason for such unacceptable Behaviour.He she is not a guest but akin to your own.Your husband is right.
---MIC on 1/24/09

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I would LOVE to talk with you. I hope you find a way to contact me!!!

I am exactly the same...I WANT to love and accept them and there is a block...can't seem to get the head knowledge to the heart.

I am civil and I treat them like guests.. BUT this is their DAD...they don't ACT like guests...they "overstep" if I am expecting a "guest" relationship then I get irritated b/c they do things a guest would not do.

I have prayed and prayed and had counseling and confessed etc etc and I cannot seem to ACCEPT my previous divorce and ACCEPT the stepchildren as "family."

I would love some practical help.

---Melinda on 1/23/09

I think alot depends on the age of the step children. My two are both 4 and I've been in their lives since they were 2 and a half. 9 times out of ten they call me Mama (cupcake is their other name for me:) and we get along so well people think they are my biological children. This has made it very easy for me to bond with them and I can honestly say I love those little girls like I carried them. i think with teens it is alot harder.
---Dana on 3/24/08

what is hard is the stepchildren usually cannot accept another as their mother figure for many reasons, one being they would feel they have let their natural mother down to do such a thing so I find being the natural mother is still quite involved in their life it makes it quite hard for the children to have that same trust, and love in someone else who they know is not their natural mother.
---KC on 3/14/08

My husband has 2 stepchildren, one is 3 and the other is 7. My stepson has ADHD. Sometimes I find that it's hard to help raise them because their mom allows them to do certain things and doesn't discipline then or correct them when needed all the time Anyone have any insights?
---Amie on 12/13/07

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I think it's great how you treat your step-daughter. As long as you treat her fairly in regards to your other kids.
You are NOT her real mom, so how can you act like you are? She might even resent it. Treating her like a good friend, a guest, is fine.
---sue on 7/26/07

If a stepdaughter comes to the house only on weekends . . . how long does this give you time to bond into affection together? The father has had perhaps more time, for weeks straight, and even years. So, I'd say take her as you two really are together, and don't "theoretically" evaluate, but let your love relating develop as it REALLY is.

Jesus wants us to love ALL people. See what develops with each individual.
---Bill_bila5659 on 7/26/07

I agree with Shari's and Donna9759's comments. God said nothing is impossible. Whatever limitations we have as human beings, in Christ, we are able to conquer if we believe. We have also been adopted by God through Jesus Christ. God receives and accepts us as His own. I believe we need to do the same with our step children.
---AJ on 7/26/07

I can really understand what you are going through. My husband has two children one who is 5 and the other who is 1. It is very hard for me to bond with the 5 year old boy. I don't know how to love him. I don't feel love for him. I know he is a child and I feel terrible about it. I really need some advice as well. I treat him like I would any other guest. It is really difficult.
---Kendra on 7/25/07

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It is easy to say you should treat her the same ... but I do not think it would be possible to have the same emotional attachment.
But you need to be a warm to her as to the others, give her a hug when she arrives and when yo say goodnight. She will be afraid to make the first move in this direction ... it is up to you. Once started, the warmth will grow.
---alan8869_of_UK on 4/18/07

It really bothers me that there are people out there that is being very judgemental of Melissa. Being a person is currently dealing with a similar situation, that is the last thing that you need. Pray for her an encourage her instead of tearing her down. Judging people in this situation does not help them. Everyone is talking about love but in some of the responses is not showing it.
---Sara on 8/3/06

I completely agree. There is not enough honoring of the step parent as far as I'm concerned. That is one thing I will not tolerate from my own children - if they disrespect their step dad. There will be a price for them to pay, such as being restricted from the phone or hanging out with friends. I think there would be alot more success in step families if there was more respect.
---Criss on 7/24/06


Sounds like you are making the best of the situation and you get points for that! I wish you the best and will pray for you accordingly.


Now, we are getting somewhere. "Step children are not always lovable." Therein lies the dilemma. How to love children who aren't lovable and who aren't your's. That's the million dollar question!
---Criss on 7/24/06

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Thank you Criss, I can "use", and am grateful for prayers. My husband thinks I am too strict, because I believe they should answer him when he speaks to them and he just shrugs it off if he is ignored. I didn't raise my kids to be so rude, and I find it hard to believe that others don't believe that this is important. He feels their life is hard enough and he shouldn't press the issue, but I believe it's part of honoring your father.
---Dottie on 7/24/06

By the way, I didn't say that step-kids are always lovable. A lot has to do with the age of the kids. I understand the thing about trying to teach them what they need to know. I've tried to teach my step-son manners which he was never taught because his parents thought he couldn't learn. Of course, it doesn't help that his father doesn't think manners are important. Ha! Ha! But, he has learned despite his father. His father learned a few along with him without knowing it.
---Susie on 7/21/06

I have 2 step-daughters they are girls and their ages are 8 and 10.The 10 yr old and I are the best friends in the world.The 8 yr old is a pill.My husband only gets them 2x a year.They live in Florida,when they come to our house our rules are different then at their moms houses.It is very hard to have them and enforce the rules, because I find us getting upset all the time at them.I understand how you all feel.I do love both of them very much and I find myself just giving in on the little things.
---Vickie on 7/21/06


I had the same struggle with my step-daughter. She is big enough now that she chooses not to spend weekends with us. I must say, I'm glad about that. Her mother sounds like their mother. There is no structure (much less discipline) in her life and she is a royal pain in the neck. I believe all kids need boundaries. Without any, kids become unbearable. It is the parent's fault, but what do you do when the father doesn't correct them either? I feel for you. You are in my prayers.
---Criss on 7/21/06

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part 2)My husbands girls are 11 and 12. Their mother does not teach them anything and I feel that it is put on me to teach them simple everyday things that girls their age should already know. And everything I teach them one weekend is totally forgotten by the time they come back two weeks later. It is a challenge that I feel is unfair, because I am going in circles.
---Dottie on 7/21/06

part 1) Melissa, I know how you feel. I only have my step-daughters every other weekend as well. When you don't have any say in their up-bringing and they are not responsive to what you say it is Very Hard to relate to them the same as you did your own daughters. For me it is harder because my girls are grown with their own families.
---Dottie on 7/21/06

Susie, I see your point, and I believe that your step-father was instrumental in teaching you how to love like that. He modeled a behavior for you that you were able to emulate. Still, I disagree that it is always "easy" to love your step children. There are many many people who struggle with this effort. I have 5 nieces and nephews and 2 grandaughters and of course I love them. They are my blood relatives. It is more difficult to love step-children who aren't. Anyone else?
---Criss on 7/21/06

I also had a very wonderful step-father who treated me as if I were his own daughter. He and my mother were married in their 60's after my father passed away. He never treated me like just another guest when I visited them out of state.
---Susie on 7/21/06

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If you had read my posts, you would see that I do have children of my own as well as ten grandchildren (my own and step). I also have dozens of neices and nephews, great neices and nephews whom I love dearly. Loving does not make anyone a "saint". I have a needlepoint that my elderly aunt did that says, "To love and be loved is the greatest gift of all." Love is wonderful.
---Susie on 7/21/06

Then Susie, you are a SAINT! That is very admirable and not that easy for most of us. Yes, having the love of the Lord is certainly a catalyst in these situations, but we can't all exibit the same traits as effortlessly as you seem to be able. How did you do that? Do you have any children of your own? My guess would be "No."
---Criss on 7/20/06

It is not hard to love your spouse's children if you have the love of the Lord. I am the step-mother to a mentally challenged adult son. I love him as I love my own sons. I also love my other two step-children as if they were my own and they were adults when we got married.
---Susie on 7/19/06

I believe this is the biggest reason God HATES divorce, but let's be realistic. Someone who comes to your house for a couple of days every-other week FEELS like a visitor. Let's give Melissa a break. It is tough to love another person's child. God bless those of you who find this easy to do. YOU are the exception, not the rule!
---Realist on 7/19/06

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This is not just another guest or visitor. It is your husband's daughter. Do you expect your husband to treat your children like guests or visitors?
---Susie on 7/18/06

Over the years we've had many "extra" kids (teenagers) live with us. Some stay a few days or a week, others stay for months on end. I always get attached and hate to see them go. The way to love someone (especially someone difficult to love) is to give. Give gifts (appropriately), give compliments, give of your time, give of yourself, give in any way you can. Giving has supernatural repercussions ... we reap what we sow.
---DoryLory on 7/13/06

Part II -

I am proud of you, Donna, and happy that your relationship with your step-daughter is so close. Seriously! But you have to understand that you are the exception to the rule. My story is much more typical. The children who grow inside your own body (near your heart) are always going to have a special place that I'm not sure step-children can occupy. Maybe the fact that your step-daughter was so small had something to do with it? I'm not sure, but I admire you and your great love.
---Criss on 7/13/06


I did not say that I couldn't love another woman's child. I said that I believe it is impossible to love another woman's child "exactly like you love your own." Re-read both the question and my response. Step children are a challenege and, if you don't think they are, then you haven't been there. Even Christian couselors (I've been there - done that) agree that it is tough to make a blended family work. Best case senario? A friendship with your spouses children.
---Criss on 7/13/06

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The Spirit of God gives a love that goes beyond human possibilities and deeper than family type. That is what David referred to about Jonathan and a "love that surpasses the love of women." When that love is present "adopted" or "stepchild" doesn't matter. They are every bit as your own natural children. It's a spiritual work.
---Shari on 7/13/06

Criss, How can you say such a cold hearted thing? Is it YOU who can't love a child from another woman's womb? Lots of women can, and DO. I raised my ex-boyfriend's little girl from when she was 4. She is 30 now and she and I are closer than she is with her biological mother. She considers ME her mother and not her biological mother. Criss, you may need some serious healing deep down inside of you. Why can't a woman love another child? If you have the Love of Jesus inside of you, anything is possible.
---Donna9759 on 7/13/06

3. During a breakup my sister's fiance impregnated a woman. After getting married, they began co-parenting a newborn aged 7 weeks.
My sister thanked my mother, and spoke of how she was treated with love and respect, never making her feel like an outsider. But accepting her for herself not considering the circumstances of her birth. This she said is what taught her to love, and accept her stepdaughter.
The Lord will give you what you need, to deal with your husbands wishes, and your feelings
---lynet on 7/13/06

2. As a young adult my sister wanted to know everything about us, especially since she thought she was the oldest, and turned out to be the youngest.
My mother treated her as though she had been with us all along. Inviting her to family functions, and outings, buying christmas and birthday gifts etc, and she fit in pretty well, though there were still tmes when a family member showed dissaproval.
My mother died two years ago, and my sister had words at the funeral.
---lynet on 7/13/06

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Your husband can "want" all he likes, but the truth is that it is impossible for a mother to love another person's children like she loves her own. I truly believe this. Maybe, if she raised that child from an infant, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. The most you can be is a friend to this little girl, and that is what I would shoot for. Leave the disciplining up to her dad.
---Criss on 7/13/06

This a a little different, but has a good message in it.
My father had a child outside of marriage. My mother was devastated but accepted it, and even purchased items for my sister after she was born.
When my sisters stepfather who she never knew was'nt her father died, she found out who her father really was. We were all adults, and it was an emotional time when we got the news.
she was vey uneasy, and her mother did not want her with us.
---lynet on 7/13/06

YOU CAN love her as your own. God has given us the spirit of adoption to call Him, "Abba Father." If the love of the Father is flowing through you, then that love can flow onto that child. You will no longer see her as not your own, but take her under your wings and see that she needs to be loved in a special way because her real mother is not around. See her through the eyes of Jeus, with the Love of God in your heart. Love her with the Love of Jesus that's inside of you.
---Donna9759 on 7/13/06

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