Excelsia College News | Celebrating the male role models in our lives

Celebrating the male role models in our lives

Dr Lex Akers, lecturer in Integrative Studies at Excelsia College, is also a pastor and church leader in the Wesleyan Methodist Church (WMC) of Australia. With 25 years of leadership and pastoral ministry, he is able to provide his unique insights in teaching the Christian message to students across all faiths and denominations. As Father’s Day approaches this Sunday 3 September, Lex shares his thoughts about the relevance of fathers from a Christian perspective.


Father’s Day evokes a spectrum of emotions. For many, it’s an occasion to commemorate and cherish our dads, filling our hearts with family love and joy. For some, it stands as a painful reminder of their inability to have children. Yet for others, it’s a day they’d rather avoid, shielding themselves from memories of a father who brought them pain.


Navigating certain Scriptures on this topic can elicit a similar range of emotions. So, how do we embrace the joys of Father’s Day without overshadowing the pains that some might feel? How can we remain sensitive to everyone’s experiences, while still honoring the essential role of fathers?


For me, the answer lies in the teachings and life of Jesus. In John 14:9b, Jesus proclaims, ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.’ This is as if to say, ‘To understand God, observe me. I’m the purest reflection of the Father.’ Basing our notions of Father’s Day solely on our earthly fathers or just the Old Testament might lead us to a skewed perspective of fatherhood. However, looking to Jesus, the God/man, reveals a richer image. We witness a figure embodying love, compassion, tenderness, and care; someone who uplifts the downtrodden but corrects the proud. Delving into the Gospels, we see Jesus continually shining a spotlight on the nature of His Father – a journey that’s both enlightening and heartening.


While it’s crucial to recognise the sorrow some associate with Father’s Day, Jesus’ example serves as a beacon of hope, nudging us to continually strive for better. Reflecting on Jesus’ portrayal of the Father, here are some fatherly attributes we can all aspire to:


  1. Unconditional love: Fathers should love their children selflessly and unconditionally, independent of their actions or decisions.
  2. Mercy and forgiveness: It’s essential for fathers to forgive readily, avoiding resentment. Being understanding of their children’s errors and granting them another chance reflects divine mercy.
  3. Compassion: Fathers should show empathy and understanding, prioritising support and guidance over judgement.
  4. Desire for relationship: A deep and open relationship with their children is paramount, mirroring Jesus’ closeness with the Father.
  5. Righteousness and justice: Instilling values of morality, integrity, and justice in their children is a father’s responsibility, both within the family and in the world at large.
  6. Teaching and wisdom: Through guidance, shared experiences, and wisdom, fathers play a vital role in shaping their children’s lives.
  7. Humility: Demonstrating humility, acknowledging mistakes, and showing readiness to apologise can leave a lasting impression on children.
  8. Inclusivity: Fathers should foster values of inclusivity, teaching children to respect and love all, irrespective of differences.

On behalf of Excelsia College, we would like to wish all the wonderful fathers and father figures in our lives a happy Father’s Day.