walk the straight and narrow

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walk the straight and narrow

To maintain a morally upright way of life; to only make choices that are considered morally and legally correct. Now that I have a conviction on my record, I really have to walk the straight and narrow going forward. My father walked the straight and narrow until the day he died, and I think he regretted never doing anything wild or unexpected when he had the chance.
See also: and, narrow, straight, walk
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

straight and narrow, (walk) the

(Follow) the path of virtue. This term probably alludes to the biblical caution, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life” (Matthew 7:14), life here meaning salvation. Following the straight and narrow, however, was largely a Victorian concept of rectitude, and the term became current in the nineteenth century. John Dos Passos used it in The 42nd Parallel (1930): “Robbins . . . said that he . . . would have to follow the straight and narrow.”
See also: and, straight
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer