I dated my husband all through high school. He was a quarterback and I think we both envisioned our future including a son or 2 that would follow in his footsteps.
But God had different plans for us.
We married at 21 years old, began teaching and coaching at 23, and at 24 were expecting our first child. We didn’t find out the sex of the baby—we wanted to be surprised.
When the baby came, the doctor said, “It’s a girl!”
We heard those same words again twenty-three months later with our second child. Then, surprise! Eighteen months after that, another girl!! Yes, we had three daughters within three-and-a-half years. We were out-daughtered!
Coach quickly settled in to being a girl dad.
He watched Barbie movies, had tea parties, and announced many fashion shows in our living room with the girls’ Care Bear karaoke machine.
I loved seeing his tough football coach persona soften as he walked through the door and our baby girls yelled, “Daddy’s home!”
Our home gave him a refuge from football talk and stressing about wins and losses. At home he could just be dad, the most important man to his three precious girls.
Our girls have now grown into young women. They are now 20, 18, and 16 years old and our daily life looks a little different than it did with 3 toddlers in the house.
One daughter is in college and another is set to graduate high school in May.
As I look back at our journey of raising 3 daughters in a football family, I can see how God has worked all things together for our good and to his glory. Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
My coach may not have any biological sons, but make no mistake, he is a “father” to about 60 young men each year.
God didn’t give him sons in our home, but he did give him the passion to mentor the young men that come through the football program. He invests in these boys with his time and attention. He prays for them, loves them and disciplines them. Some players he only interacts with for a short season, while others he stays in contact with years after their time as a football player.
His calling to raise up men of integrity was not to be fulfilled in our home. No, our creator orchestrated it to be fulfilled through his profession. He paired his love for the game, with his passion to serve and created him to be a coach.
Our all-knowing God used all of these things to give him a place to be passionate about serving, which benefits players, my coach, and ultimately the kingdom.
Raising daughters has given my coach a heart to train up young men to love and respect their girlfriends and eventually their wives.
Ephesians 5:28 Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Who better to teach young men how to treat women than a man who lives with a house full of them? Who cares more about this topic than the man whose very daughters might date these guys?
He teaches them to love selflessly and to protect the hearts of loved ones with the team motto, “Protect the Family.” He demonstrates how to appreciate your spouse when he thanks all the coaches’ wives at the football banquet and when he says, “Three claps for Mrs. Jones,” when I walk into the fieldhouse.
He shows them how to treat women with respect when he reminds them of their manners at team meals. He shows them how to show love with your presence when he makes our daughters a priority.
One time he had to rush out of football camp a few minutes early to get to the local pageant just in time to see our daughter perform. The proud Dad showed up in sweaty practice clothes and all!
Is he perfect? No, he is human. He makes mistakes. When he reacts in anger or haste, he apologizes. The players see this in how he deals with them. Players see these actions and whether they realize it at the time or not, it makes an impression.
Hopefully, someday when they become a husband and a father, they will remember their old football coach who loved his wife and daughters with all he had.
Supporting our daughters in their extracurricular activities has given him a greater appreciation for other sports.
He is a football coach and the son of a football coach. So, football has always been first and foremost in his mind.
However, by having all girls, he was exposed to dance, soccer, basketball, band, choir, drama, and cheer. Competitiveness and hard work are important in those, too.
He saw the time and effort our girls put into their activities. He witnessed the dedication our oldest put into cheerleading through years of tumbling lessons and workouts on her own so she could make the cheer team in college.
Yes, living with our girls has definitely broadened his familiarity with other sports and given him an appreciation for the value of these activities.
We don’t know all the reasons we were not given sons. However, we serve the one that knows everything and trust that he is working all things together for our good.
Yes, we have all daughters, and it’s not just okay. Like each of them, it’s beautiful!