rub the fear of God into (one)

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rub the fear of God into (one)

1. To cause one to fear God's wrath, thus inducing one to repent, pray, and adhere to God's laws. (An older and less common variant of "put the fear of God into one.") The parish priest would rub the fear of God into the children every Sunday, telling them at length about the torments of hell that would await them if they didn't go to church and obey the Bible.
2. To cause one to greatly fear the potential consequences of something, such as misbehavior, typically by threats or a graphic description of such consequences. The general was known to rub the fear of God into the troops under his command.
See also: fear, god, of, rub
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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