308. FAIR WEATHER PEOPLE
(The Abundant Life Series – Batch 3)
I call them fair weather people. You know: The people who are with you on the days of glorious sunshine but who run and leave you to fend for yourself at the hint of trouble, when the sky is overcast and the showers start to pour. Instead of getting you an umbrella and helping you to shelter from the storm, they leave you to be drenched and to drown even, thinking of nothing but themselves.
These are the people that are there for the blessings but they’re not there for the blight. They’re there for the fame but they’re not there for the fight. They’re there for the promotion but they’re not there for the pain. They’re there for your success but they’re not there for your shame.
In short, they’re not there with you in the trenches and turn their noses down at you when you’re going through what you’re going through but they want to be around you and with you and have the nerve to smile at you, in your triumph. They are also quick to remember you and find you wherever you are when they need help but they can never be found or are scarcely ever around when you are the one in need of a helping hand, support, understanding or encouragement.
Such people are all around us and I’m sure you can put a few names to the title, based on your own life experience.
Some people have unfortunately, married fair weather spouses, who, when the finances are low or there is infertility or a spouse gains weight or loses his or her looks or gets sick or injured or disabled in some way that mars his or her physical features or to the other spouse’s mind, he or she loses his or her appeal or is now found to be boring, that fair weather spouse bails, looking for greener pastures elsewhere.
I have seen footage of an actual Wedding where, upon being asked to repeat the typical Wedding vows, the wife-to-be refused to say ‘For better or worse, for richer or poorer.’ Instead, she changed the vows right there and then and instead said, “For better or better, for richer or richer.’ This made the guests laugh but to my mind, it was troubling, as it was compelling evidence that she was going to be a fair weather spouse.
Unfortunately, fair weather spouses don’t do well when it comes to longevity. For, they are fair weather people and so do not generally stick around in storms, unless they feel coerced to do so.
Interestingly, a few years back, I heard a woman on a radio station state, that if she got married and something were to happen to her husband, like him becoming crippled or in some other way disabled, that she would leave the marriage. She said it without any shame and without any regard for what God’s Word had to say on the issue of marriage, although she purported to be a ‘Christian’. As if that was not bad enough, she brazenly explained that if something like that were to occur, she would leave because she had not “signed up” for that.
When I heard the foolishness that came from that woman’s mouth, I realized that the Word of God was not her authority. She was her own authority and had not yet submitted to the Lordship of Christ, although she falsely claimed to be a Christian. I thought to myself then, that she needed to stay single and I hoped that no one would make the mistake of marrying her.
A few years later though, to my shock I saw that she had gotten married and many pictures of the day’s festivities were posted on Facebook. I felt really sorry for the man that she had married though, as she was a self-proclaimed fair weather spouse. If the going ever got rough, she had already announced publicly, that she would leave.
Maybe the poor chap had not heard what she had said back then or thought that she had not meant it or that him having met her and wooed her and her agreeing to marry him, that he was so awesome, that she was bound to have changed her mind.
I thought to myself, that only time would tell. Only time tells what sort of foundation a couple that enters into marriage, has built on, whether sturdy or whether flimsy.
Not surprisingly, a few weeks ago and only about a year and some months into her marriage, upon visiting her Facebook Page, I saw that she had removed her married name and reverted to the use of her maiden name only. She had also apparently removed all of her Wedding and engagement pictures and there was no sign whatsoever of the man that she had married, as if he had never existed! She was also posting cryptic messages about failed relationships and so (although reconciliation is always possible) it seemed that her marriage had gone kapunt and that she and he had gone their separate ways.
If this was the case, I was not at all surprised. While I have no idea what took place in that marriage, this woman had already announced, while still single, that she was not the kind to stick around and fight in a marriage. She had already declared that if trouble came that she did not sign up for, that (although the Bible speaks to the permanency of marriage), she would leave.
The whole situation reminded me of the importance of being aligned to the right person for marriage and choosing the right person to spend the rest of one’s life with. You want someone that will not exhibit fair weather behaviour when life doesn’t seem as rosy or the world seems to be pelting lemons (and even stones!) but who will stay with you and fight with you, no matter what curve ball life throws.
And life has a way of throwing some unexpected curve balls. So to think that one can enter a marriage and only experience good and bright and sunny days is to be naive at best. You need someone that can dance with you when on the mountain top but also buckle down with you when in the dark valley. We need to ensure that we marry people who take the ‘for worse’ part seriously when making their vows and are in it with us for the long haul, committed, till death do us part.
Fair weather behaviour has always been characteristic of some human beings and existed even as far back as the Bible days, although people exhibiting such traits were not quite coined in the name to which I have referred them.
There was for example, the man who was closest in kin to Ruth, a widow and a Moabitess. Based on Israelite custom, when a man died without having children, his closest surviving male relative was supposed to marry the widow, so that children could be born, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. While Ruth’s closest kinsman didn’t mind buying her family’s land (which would be part of the deal), he refused to marry her, probably because he considered her to have baggage in light of her past and background. In typical fair weather style, he told Boaz that he could not do it, as he did not want to ‘mar’ his inheritance (Ruth 4:6).
Then there were Job’s friends and family members. When he lost everything: His children, his wealth and even his health, some came to him, they said, to support him during his grief but instead, they used the opportunity to accuse him of all manner of wrongs (without evidence) and therefore intensified his pain, him referring to them as ‘miserable comforters’. Others apparently abandoned him in his period of adversity, only returning when the tide turned and God had restored him.
Job 42:10-11 states:
- “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. THEN came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and ALL THEY THAT HAD BEEN OF HIS ACQUAINTANCE BEFORE, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.”
Then there are those spoken of in Proverbs 19:6-7. Typical of fair weather behaviour, it reads that “Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.” Yet, when the season changes and adversities come, it continues, “All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.”
No doubt the Prodigal son would have experienced this. When he had lots of money, the Bible states that he spent it on riotous living (Luke 15:13). Since it is near impossible to create a riot by one’s self, it is my view that this meant that he had people around him, people who he may have even considered to be friends, who helped him spend that money with pleasurable living. However, when his inheritance was wasted and completely done, there is no mention of any friends chipping in to help him. His fair weather friends had gone, leaving him to fend for himself in poverty. When he was hungry, to the point of starvation, there is no mention of any friend or friends coming to his aid. They had long moved on to the next best thing and he was left, all alone.
While he, previously an heir in his Father’s house, now had no choice but to resort to the menial task of feeding pigs to try to make some money to eat, Luke 15:16 states, “And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.”
A google search of ‘fair weather people’ reveals that they are people that cannot be relied on in times of difficulty. Another definition states that they are people who are dependable in good times but not in times of trouble. These definitions, to my mind are spot-on.
Paul in the Bible, experienced desertion from fair weather people in his time of difficulty. He stated in 2 Timothy 4:16, “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.“
David said of his own experience when he was down in a valley and could find none to help or give him the support and encouragement he needed, “Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.” (Psalm 69:20).
In speaking of his own experience and pouring out his complaint before God, David also prophesied by the Holy Ghost, of what Jesus Christ would later go through. In Acts 1:16 and 20, Peter, in alluding to something that David mentioned in the same Psalm 69 and verse 25 in particular, stated that the Holy Ghost had spoken by the mouth of David.
This prophesy was accurate, as Jesus himself did experience fair weather behaviour from people when on earth. Many flocked to him to benefit from or to see the miracles that he did (Matthew 12:38; John 12:9) and the free food he gave (John 6:26) but when it was time for him to be crucified and he was taken by his enemies, they all abandoned him (Mark 14:50-52), one even denied knowing him, thrice (Mark 14:66-72) and many called for him to be killed (Luke 23:18,20-24). Then, when he was being crucified, many mocked him in his pain (Luke 23:35-39; Psalm 69:21) and some even sat down, as if he were a spectacle, to watch him as he suffered (Matthew 27:36).
This is typical fair weather behaviour: That is, when things are good with someone and he is perceived as having much to offer, stay close by his side but when things get tumultous or he is going through adverse circumstances or is considered to have served his purpose, reject him, abandon him, deny him, be ashamed of any affiliation we may have with him, speak all manner of evil against him and even ridicule him.
Of Jesus’ experience, Isaiah 53:3 also accurately prophesied of him: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.“
On another occasion, in the Bible, when David realized that a man that he had considered to be a bona fide friend was nothing more than a fair weather person, the hurt he felt was almost too much for him to bear. In Psalm 55:4-6 and 12-14, he told God:
- “My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest… For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.”
Yes, sometimes the behaviour of fair weather people can hurt us to the core. Their fickleness is sometimes so unpredictable, that it can astound us. The one person we think would never turn his or her back on us and would always vouch for us is the very person that turns on us and abandons us in our time of trouble.
Hence the reason that Micah 7:5 advises, “Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.” Psalm 118:8 also tells us, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”
In contrast to mankind and his fair weather behaviour, thankfully, there is Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, who, although he died, did not remain dead but rose from the grave on the third day. Although he was badly treated by fair weather people (mankind), he offers forgiveness to all mankind and deliverance from sin to all that believe that he rose from the dead and who will confess with their mouth that he is Lord.
Romans 10:9-13 provides the assurance:
- “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This Jesus is unlike fair weather people, as he sticks closer than a brother when you’re going through even the worst.
Indeed, when all abandon you, even your own family and friends, Jesus (who also experienced abandonment) is there and ready to help you, to strengthen you, to guide you and to deliver you. Unlike fair weather people, Jesus, who is God the Son, has promised of those who are in relationship with him, to never leave them or forsake them (Hebrews 13:5).
How wonderful is that?
In Isaiah 46:4, unlike fair weather people who are there when things are good but desert you when things are bad, God told the Israelites who were in covenant with him: “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”
Given that he is the same God of yesterday with the same character, what he told the Israelites, of his commitment, love and devotion to them is also true of how he regards his children today, who are under the New Covenant, the Church.
Similarly, in Isaiah 49:14-16, God stated through his Prophet, of the Israelites who were thinking that he had forsaken them:
- “But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
These verses remind us who are in relationship with God through Jesus Christ his Son, that we do not serve a fair weather God. We serve a God that is faithful. We serve a Jesus that does not walk away from us and mock us when we meet a dry patch in life, as human beings tend to do. No.
He does not exhibit fair weather behaviour as fickle man does. He will not be for you today and then abandon you tomorrow or promise to love you today and grow bored of you tomorrow.
If you are his child and therefore have relationship with him through Jesus Christ, he will be with you, through thick and thin. He will not support or condone your sin (which he hates) and he chastens his children when they mess up so that they will change but he still loves them with an everlasting love and is still invested in their spiritual success.
You may, like me, have been the object of people’s abandonment, betrayal, ridicule and ostracism, when going through your avalanche of gigantic proportions. However, as I wrote a few days ago:
“You may have never known or experienced the genuine, selfless, devoted love of another human being but you can know the love of Christ.”
As someone who has been through much and experienced much fair weather behaviour from people, I can tell you that the love of Christ is enough. He can get you through anything and everything and once you know him as Lord and Saviour, he keeps his word. People may abandon you, turn their noses down at you and say all manner of evil about you but when it comes to Jesus, he never leaves you or forsakes you, even when you mess up (like the Prodigal son did) and therefore deserve his abandonment.
Even in those moments, he offers you the opportunity to repent, to come to him and confess where you went wrong, to turn away from your folly and to make things right with him again. See, unlike fair weather people who are all about themselves, God values your relationship with him. He values your friendship. He genuinely cares about his children and so no matter what life brings, he refuses to be separated from those who are in covenant with him by grace through faith in Jesus. Hence the reason that Romans 8:35-39 reads:
- “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Written on 28th February, 2022, added to on 10th March, 2022)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, edifying or beneficial, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 75 – ‘The Danger Of Impatience – He’s Taking Too Long’
- Note 137 – ‘Who To Marry?’
- Note 144 – ‘Before You Say I Do’
- Note 171 – ‘If That Tree Could Talk’
- Note 195 – ‘When God Promises To Write-on A Write-off’
- Note 196 – ‘A Hopeless End Or An Endless Hope?’
- Note 197 – ‘Left For Dead…Then Resurrected’
- Note 215 – ‘Our Difficulty Is God’s Opportunity’
- Note 274 – ‘I Being In The Way, The Lord Led Me – A Match Made In Heaven’
Additionally, under the ‘BIBLE-BELIEVING Daughters’ page:
- Note 34 – ‘They Are Ashamed Of Me’
Additionally, under the ‘COURTING OR ENGAGED Daughters’ page:
- Note 20 – ‘Is Your Relationship Foundation Strong?’
- Note 27 – ‘Why I Want To Praise Jesus Alone On My Wedding Day’
- Note 35 – ‘Beauty, The Oil Of Joy And The Garment Of Praise’
- Note 42 – ‘Making The Wrong Decision Can Be Costly – When You Don’t Wait On God To Introduce You To Your Spouse’
Also, under the ‘BROKEN Daughters’ Page:
- Note 33 – ‘A Comeback – Better Than Before’