Our lives pretty much modelled that of our parents. We were very committed to our church and sang in choirs, acted in drama groups, led youth organisations, taught in Bible study groups and led Sunday worship services. Everything seemed to be outwardly fine, but within both of us was a sense that somehow, something more was possible.
The birth of our first child was a catalyst that God used to bring a radical change to my spiritual life. After we had brought Benjamin home from the hospital and I sat in our living room with him asleep in my arms, I was suddenly overcome with love for this little baby. This really shocked me. I had expected to eventually come to love my son - perhaps when he was bigger and more able to interact with me. But to suddenly feel such a powerful emotional bond coming "out of nowhere", really floored me.
As my head was still spinning trying to cope with this, I felt God say to me, "If you as an imperfect earthly father can love your child so powerfully, how much do you think that I, as your perfect heavenly Father, love you?"
This thought cut right to my heart. I realised in a flash of insight, that whilst I could say I believed in God and while I tried to faithfully serve Him, I couldn't honestly say that I loved Him.
It suddenly struck me for the first time that the only thing a father really wants is for his children to love him. As I stood on the threshold of fatherhood, I suddenly realised how awful it would be if Benjamin never grew up to love me.
This event led me to really pray to God that He would enable me to love Him. That He would work in my life to fan into flame my cold heart. Gradually over a period of many months this started to happen.