At one point in my “dating life,” I was in love with a young man that had no doubt in his mind that he would be a minister; most of the men in his family were/are, so you might say it was in his DNA. I could see us having a future, but truthfully, I struggled to think that I might be a minister’s wife.
I knew what my struggles were (are), and I couldn’t see that I was worthy of that title. (With age comes perspective. However, I had honest concerns.) I always saw those wives as sweet, calm, and mild ladies. I might be sweet, but mild and calm are not traits you think of when you think of me.
Life has a way of changing, sometimes suddenly and for various reasons, that relationship ended. The fellow who had been my “big brother friend” stole my heart.
He was just as determined in pursuing his vocation; he wanted to coach. Somehow the thought of being the wife of a coach was less daunting to me than being the wife of a minister. I imagined our life would be filled with rowdy boys dropping by the house, tailgating events, and ball games. Well, I can assure you that God does indeed have a sense of humor because I was so naïve as to what has truly been involved in the life of a coach’s wife.
Oh yes, there have been rowdy boys, hundreds of them over the years. There have also been sweet boys who needed guidance, who needed a father figure because there wasn’t one in their life. There have lost boys who literally had no place to call home, that needed basics to just survive.
There have been “good boys” who have struggled with things that would break your heart. There have been young women who needed a father figure and needed to see that not all the males in their life were what they dealt with at home. More than one needed a defender who made it clear that they were under his protection, and others would answer to him if need be. We have been there for weddings, babies, and sadly, funerals as well.
There have been tailgates, days spent working in concession stands, long weekends in gyms during wrestling tournaments. My daughter even took her first steps on a wrestling mat. I ran a tournament with her in a playpen next to the head table. I have watched my daughter have more “siblings” than I can count because when you are a coach’s kid, you share your daddy with others, and by default, they become your siblings.
I’ve watched our athletes defend our daughter, protect her, and run interference when they thought she needed it. Not only did boyfriends have to be Coach approved, but they also had to be team approved.
I might not have married a preaching minister in the strictest sense of the word, but I’ve learned that not every minister stands behind a pulpit.
Mine is on the football field, he’s in the wrestling gym, he’s in the classroom, and he’s been on the baseball field. He’s also been behind a pulpit sharing his love of his kids, his sports, and his faith.
No, I am not a minister’s wife, but I am the wife of a coach who sees his vocation as his ministry. I have watched him make a difference in so many lives, and I have done my best to support him on this journey. His calling has become my calling as well. I love “his kids” too. I do my best to let them see that they matter to us not only when they are on the field, on the mat, or in the classroom but long after graduation.
So, for those of you who are new to the coaching life, welcome. Know that you may be the wife behind the coach but that you also play an important role in this ministry. You both are touching lives in ways you may never fully see, but I promise you are making an impact.