The stadium spotlights beaming down. Fans cheering in anticipation. Coaches pacing the sidelines. Sweat dripping alongside the players’ faces under their heavy helmets- hearts pounding to the beat of the marching band drum. The grind of the weeks practice escalating to this very night on this very field. But amidst from the physical exertion leading up to game night, a different kind of sacrifice is being made from someone not found on the turf. And a higher purpose awaits above the final points on the scoreboard.
Being a coach’s wife for eight of the nine years I have been married to my dear husband, I have lost track of the many missed family dinners due to extended practices, lonely birthdays, and interrupted weekend plans because of long film breakdown and game planning. I have become acquainted with the term “football widow” and the familiarity of juggling all the responsibilities that title entails. I have stood in the stands- weathering rain or shine, squelching heat or freezing cold, triumphant win and devastating loss (with the company of small children)to support my husband’s call to coaching.
But I am not here seeking your pity or even your applause. Because beyond the scope of the huddles and the X’s and O’s, I see more than a football field- I see a mission field. I see more than players- I see souls. I see more than a coach- I see a disciple. I see more than the lights surrounding the stadium- I see the light of Christ shinning through my husband. I see a higher goal than the goal posts. For me, I care about the wins off the field, just as much as on the field, and perhaps even more.
The late, well- renowned College Girl’s Basketball Coach, Pat Summitt, once said “I won 1,098 games, and eight national championships, and coached in four different decades. But what I see are not the numbers. I see their faces.” An even more renowned author commands “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). Coaching is not a career- it’s a calling.
My husband has a divine opportunity to minister to these young men. Even though he has limitations to what he can say, he has no limitations to his actions. His fellow coaches and the team takes notice how he never curses at a player for making a mistake. They feel more comfortable seeking out his advice and his help for matters even outside football than the other coaches. They see something in him beyond the Friday Night Lights. I feel honored to be apart of such a unique and profound ministry.
I would love to encourage all coach’s wives- most times, you feel your part in this ministry is being a living sacrifice- sacrifice you and your family’s time with your husband, lay down your needs and plans- all to allow your husband to fulfill his calling. Your role is vital! Your husband could not complete his mission with the grace that is required of his family without your help and support. You are fulfilling your role by helping him live out his purpose. Lift him up with prayer and encouragement! Be his number one fan! And always “set your hearts on things above” (Colossians 3:1).
The Humble Homemaker