Blake Shelton Credits Gwen Stefani's Sons For Finding A New Purpose In Life

He says that being a stepdad made him realize that he is actually reliable.

Blake Shelton has announced he's going to make family a higher priority.
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Country singer Blake Shelton might be best known for his long-standing spot in one of the infamous red chairs on The Voice, but he is actually so much more than that now that he’s a stepdad. Though he doesn’t have any biological children, he credits new wife, Gwen Stefani and her kids with changing his whole outlook on life.

Shelton, 46, opened up to PEOPLE about his new found joy of being a stepdad and how it made him realize that he is actually capable of being more reliable than he ever thought.

“They've taught me something about myself that I never knew: I'm more than just a country singer or a goofy guy. I'm someone they actually lean on, and that's not a responsibility that I ever had and not something that I ever considered even being into,” Shelton told PEOPLE.

The Voice judge is a stepdad to Stefani’s three children — Kingston, 16, Zuma, 14, and Apollo, 8. The No Doubt frontwoman shares them with ex-husband and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.

He realized that being in a father-figure role has made him less selfish and more in-tune with how the people in his life are feeling. Instead of thinking of himself first, he considers Stefani and her sons when making decisions.

“It's a different kind of self-worth. Maybe it's the opposite of self-worth because you put yourself way down on the rung, and they move up ahead of you," continued the singer.

Shelton recently revealed that, after 23 seasons of being a judge on The Voice, he will be leaving to take some time to be with his new family. He explained that the only regrets he’d have in life is if he missed out on this special time with Stefani and his new stepsons.

“If I walked away from my career at this time, the only thing that I run the risk of is having regrets that I'm missing out on some more important things in life. For now, that's our kids. This isn't about me anymore and never will be again,” he said.

Though he recognizes that, sometimes, stepparents don’t hold the kind of authority that a biological parent does, he takes the job of being a stepdad very seriously and wants to be a present, stable figure in their life.

“Even though I'm a stepparent, I take that job very seriously. The kids see me as a very important person in their life,” he continues. “[When they ask], ‘Why isn't Blake here?’ I take that stuff to heart. I've made plenty of money, but you can't buy time back. I don't want any regrets.”

When Shelton first started dating Stefani back in 2015, he said that he “didn’t know what [he] was signing up for,” in terms of dating a woman with three kids. However, he knew he was up for the task thanks to the example his own dad, Richard Shelton, set for him by raising Shelton’s late half-brother.

“He took Richie on and raised him from the time he was 1 … and my brother never thought of my dad as anything other than his dad,” the singer said of his older brother, who passed away in 1990 at the age of 24.

When Stefani came into his life, he knew that he was ready and willing to help guide and love on Stefani’s three kids.

“You’ve got three boys? Awesome!” he continued. “My dad did it. My dad raised me. I could do this. … And every day I’ve fallen in love with the boys as much as I do with Gwen,” Shelton said.