What Humpty Dumpty can teach us about sexual purity

Greg Stier
Greg Stier
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“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

Poor egg. Humpty’s life was scrambled in a milli-second. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the right breeze shattered his shell and fried his future.

Although this strange and ancient nursery rhyme may not seem relevant today, it does contain a few helpful lessons for us, especially as we seek to stay pure in an increasingly sexualized culture of compromise. Here are a few lessons from Humpty’s not-so-great fall:

1. We are fragile.

Like Humpty Dumpty we have a breakable shell that is easily shattered. We are always one decision away from disaster. Paul reminds us in Philippians 3:3 to “put no confidence in the flesh.” Why? Because it can shatter easy. Our self-determination to stay pure is fragile. Our commitments to stay pure can easily break.

Paul explains the wobbly wall between spiritual victory and fleshly defeat in Romans 7:15-20, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

We, like Humpty, are breakable beings who can shatter on impact. If we trust in our human will to keep us pure then we are a disaster ready to happen. It’s only in those moments when we walk in dependence on Jesus that we become invincible.

2. Watch where you sit.

Humpty had no right or reason to be up on that wall. He should have seen it coming. Nothing good happens when an egg tempts fate by climbing a ladder. Heights and breakable things don’t mix. Neither do Christians and sexual compromising situations.

Whether it’s the movies you watch or the people you hang with or the sites you search you must make sure you “watch where you sit” when it comes to your sexual purity.

King Solomon who was well aquainted with sexual temptation gave his own Humpty Dumpty account in Proverbs 7:6-23, “At the window of my house I looked down through the lattice. I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who had no sense. He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent (She is unruly and defiant, her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.) She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazen face she said: ‘Today I fulfilled my vows, and I have food from my fellowship offering at home. So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you! I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt.I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love! My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey.He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon.’ With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.”

Wrong place (by her house) + Wrong time (late at night) + Right breeze = Scrambled egg.

3. Once you shatter, it’s hard to get put back together again.

Unlike Humpty, Christians have hope for forgiveness and restoration after a great fall. But it usually takes time, trauma and countless tears before the process is complete. And it often results in permanently damaged relationships.

Many times when I go on a trip alone I think about the cost of falling sexually. I imagine my wife’s tears. I imagine my kids’ broken hearts. I imagine the faces of the thousands of teenagers I’ve trained through Dare 2 Share over the years. I think about the cost of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and making the wrong decision. These mental pictures help me remember what’s at stake both on the road and at home when it comes to staying pure.

But, ultimately, the real key to staying pure is not just in avoiding walls or imagining consequences. It’s rooted in keeping deeply connected to Christ on a day-to-day, moment-by-moment basis. It is only through His power that we can walk in victory and avoid ladders.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:1-5

Take that Humpty.

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