“I want to be like my dad,
when I actually become one.”
-What a dad is like in a son’s perspective-
– Q: What is some of the big things father can do at home for the family?
What is some of the big things father can do at home for the family?
Father is like a pastor. We got to be responsible.
We need to fulfill and provide for our family, so we need to work hard.
We also need to bring the security to the family too.
See,my family is not there to bless me, but I’m the one to bless the family…
I am here to protect the family from bad things. Also to instruct the family, with God’s instruction.
It is always like pastoring than just parenting.
-Q:You grew up without your father around,
how did you learn how to be a good father?-
The answer is the church. Totally it is the church.
I got saved at the young age and grew at the church, now is called Hillsong Church Sydney.
From the first day, I met the pastors and they were very different than my understanding of men.
They were manly, but loving.
I immediately in my heart I said, I want to be like them.
I understood that everyone is not perfect, but there were things in their life that I thought, I want that, I want that.
That’s why I believe church should be a model, not a perfection but a place to be a process of knowing Jesus.
-Q: Is there any difference in Pastor Rod at home
as a father or Pastor Rod as a leader at church?
Monty: He’s kinder to you all! (laughing) I’m just kidding!!
My dad is the same at home and at church.
It is pretty much the same, obviously there are times when he shows “ughhh” moments, you know, but he is really the same.
I see the way that my dad loves people in the church and it is not that different to the way he shows love to us,
and not that different to the way he will correct us, its not different. He’s got a lot of grace.
Ps.Rod: Thank you, never heard you say that before! (Laughing)
-Q: Do you have any stories or moments
where you really felt the importance of having your dad in your life?-
Monty: Growing up, I had a lot of friends either who don’t have dad or didn’t have a good relationship with their dad.
I grew up thinking that having a great dad who loves you and wants the best for you is normal.
Although, this is really God’s heart to all of us as well.
God’s wants you to grow up knowing that having a great father is normal.
As I grew older, I started realising and being thankful for how much my parents did for me and my brother, how they protected the family.
Even in hard times, they didn’t bring their problems to us, to me and my brother.
They protected to put God in the centre of our family. I just think this is the way family should be.
-Q: Your mum and dad often talk about keeping
the marriage strong first and not letting kids
become more important than the marriage.
From your perspective as kid and did you feel that you missed out because of that or gained more?-
Monty: I remember when I was young, my parents explained to me about this. I think it was because I told Richie, my younger brother that my dad loves me more than you or something, I don’t remember but haha. I can’t remember why it happened but I remember the conversation after.
My dad explained to me that “God is NO.1 in my life, your mum is NO.2 and you and Richie are NO.3.” I was only a primary school kid but it just made sense to me. At the young age, I thought this is the way should be.
So I grew up knowing that I am NO.3!
Ps. Rod: Can we bring some balance to this? This is something natural, I won’t go up to him when he’s naughty and tell him “you are NO.3!” (Laughing)
It is about getting life in the right perspective. For parents, there is a limited time for us to spend time with kids. In Australia, and same as Japan, but many times, people get divorced after their children leave the house.
Because the centre of their life shifted and there’s nothing left for the parents. No matter what happens in life, even when our children leave the house, we still love each other as a couple.
It’s just protecting us for our long marriage.
Of course Monty is important than NO.3, well you are still NO.3 though!!
-Q: How did you deal with teenage years?
How did you keep a great relationship?
-Did you have rebellious moments?-
Monty: Well more than you know….!
Ps. Rod: We are actually figuring it out more now. (Laughing)
Monty: Well maybe! After I graduated from high school, I started to tell him “BY THE WAY, I cheated on this test…haha”
Ps. Rod:Umm Monty and Richie are different.I think Monty was more rebellious than Richie.
Of course you teenagers don’t have to go through rebellious seasons. I’m sure boys and girls are different too.
Parents, you gotta deal with what is in front of you, children God has given to you.
The key is to sit and pray together before meals, don’t talk negatives in front of your kids and let them know the good things about church.
Church is not perfect. But talk to them about good things.
Monty directly told me that there were times that he thought he won’t be following Jesus if he wasn’t going to church.
Monty : (nods)
Ps. Rod:As parents, we have to be wise with our conversation.
Viv and I might talk more personal in front of our kids.
I think we’ve done well with kids before they entered teenagers.
If we don’t correct them before entering teenagers, or else the problems get bigger.
A lot of parents think that school, or someone will discipline your kids, but its not. It is our responsibility.
Especially because when they become sexually interested and lives change, they gonna need to have their compass in their hearts.
All I did right was to tell them everyday that “I love you” and “Im proud of you”. I kept praying for them.
When they face problems, they would come to me and be open to me.
Monty: Exactly like he said. If it wasn’t for church and for my parents, I wouldn’t be following Jesus.
Because I didn’t have that environment at school.
Even when I was young, my dad taught me before teenage years and definitely protected me.
I remember how he always told me “Monty, I’m proud of you”. Even when I didn’t deserve that, he was always there for me.
Ps. Rod: There was one key point I remember, he came home everyday and kept saying “Dad, you are ugly!”
Monty: ….What, that story? Really?!
Ps. Rod: People told him “you look like your dad” and he suddenly stopped saying that because it was on him as well.
I remember that night he stopped saying that. He came home that night late because the line he was on had a suicide.
He was shocked and I didn’t know what to say.
I just hugged him and prayed with him. After that, he just stopped being rebellious.
You just gotta be there with them at the right time. God is there with them, and let them know that life will be alright.
Monty: I’ve always had trust with my parents.
I always knew that if I messed up and or I went too far, I could tell them.
I remember we had some tough conversation before about I messed up at this and I did that. But I knew that if I came to them, and be honest with them, they will help me, not to look down on me or smash me.
Ps. Rod: Well Richie was totally different. He was a good boy. He is like Viv. He hates to do something wrong. Once again, every child is different. Pray to God how can you help this child.
-Q: If you actually had a daughter, as a father what would you have wanted her to know?-
Ps. Rod: It’s very similar. I always play around with Monty.
Well maybe not with my daughter.
It will be the same with words. “You are special, I love you”,
“You are beautiful and God loves you” and hopefully she will feel like a princess.
Let me say this to girls, you are all meant to be more than a princess.
You are meant to live an incredible destiny life from God.
You are meant to be a princess, and theres something for you to do great in life.
I would miss out punching like I do to Monty though haha.
-Q: What have you learned from your dad that
you want to pass onto your kids one day?-
WHEN I become a father.
I just want to replicate everything my dad has done to me,
and pretty much everything he just talked about.
In the Bible, Paul says “imitate me, as I imitate Christ. ” Like Paul. I wanna be able to say to my kids that. Love them, discipline them when they need it. No one enjoys being disciplined but just like the Bible says, harvest will be great afterwards.