“Coach’s Wife” is More Than a Title, It’s a Calling
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Through each season, job transition, and line on my resumé, one thing has stayed the same. My title as coach’s wife. The application of this title looks different each season, but it is always present, and it is always a factor.
We’ve learned that our family functions best when all decisions run through what I call the football filter. A large part of applying the football filter is accepting it’s helpful to the decision process. This doesn’t mean my husband will never pursue another career. It doesn’t mean we’ll spend every football season on the sidelines. The football filter acknowledges the coaching life is too hard and too big to ignore. Acceptance paves the path to joy. Resistance encourages roots of bitterness to grow deep.
Sister, you may have the same title I do, but we don’t have to tie our value to a title. Above all, we are created by God to glorify him uniquely and specially. God creates us each with a unique combination of talents and gifts that make you the only person capable of completing your calling which includes both the thing in front of you today and that which God is preparing you for down the road.
Still, it’s important to remember that part of your calling includes being the best partner you can be to your husband. Players and staff members will come and go, but the home team, that is the team that you must always fight to keep together.
At times you will feel as if it’s your team against the world. Other experiences will try to convince you outsiders understand your situation better than your teammate. Please hear me: those who bet against the home team are not loyal.
It can take time to find your footing; all teams take time to gel. Even then, there isn’t a guarantee we will avoid every pothole along the way, but I promise you this. God does not make mistakes, and he has created you for the life you are currently living. He is not surprised you married a coach, even if you are.
Your best life is not dependent on finding a different job, different salary or different partner. Your best life begins when you bravely step into the hard parts and bind them with the best parts.
My sweet husband knew he was called to coach well before our story began. I knew exactly what I was walking into when I signed up to be Ordell’s wife, but that doesn’t mean it’s been a smooth ride.
Since entering the workforce after college I have had seven different jobs, each of which was an entirely different career path. A gap in my resume where I had several years staying home with our boys brings my total to 8 different individual paths pursued.
Each of these paths had positives and negatives. Some I leaped off willingly, many I left because we moved. False starts can be frustrating, but they can also be freeing. With each chapter closed a new opportunity created space for me to grow in life experience and to learn more about myself.
Here’s the crazy thing, the more I step into my calling, the better equipped I am to also partner well with my husband, and it’s not because my skills align with a coach’s wife checklist.
There isn’t a checklist for what a coach’s wife does, and there isn’t one for how a coach’s wife acts. But the first role women were given by God was that of an ideal partner: Ezer, often translated as “helper,” is used to describe us in Genesis 2:18 which says “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.’”
You do not have to do this coaches’ wife thing alone. There are many who have walked before you, and there are many who walk alongside your journey. Embrace your title; it’s part of your calling. At the same time don’t feel guilty to explore all of who you are. “[F]or it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13
Beth Walker is a football coach’s wife and mom of two energetic boys. She strives to encourage those around her to pursue their best lives with Jesus whether she is near the game field or at the local coffee shop. As a writer, Beth continues to pursue finding her voice through seeing Jesus in the ordinary and extraordinary of daily life. She blogs at Lessons From the Sidelines.