Barnabas Lekganyane, bishop of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC), told thousands of congregants that parents should bring up their children to accept God.
He was speaking at a packed prayer service at Mmabatho Stadium, North West, yesterday.
"It is the home environment which produces the worst boy or girl. A disciplined family will produce a disciplined and responsible boy or girl," said Lekganyane.
He urged parents to be selective in what they said in front of their children.
"Research has proven that husbands who ended up murdering their wives and children, were themselves brought up under unfortunate and violent circumstances and environments," said Lekganyane.
North West Premier Edna Molewa said she admired the vision and courageous leadership of Lekganyane.
"Where many would have fallen into the temptation of abusing their position of power and influence over so many people, you have continuously stood firm on principles that have stood you and the Zion Christian Church in good stead," said Molewa.
Among the dignitaries were executive mayor of Mmabatho Modiri Molema, MEC for social development Nikiwe Mangqo, and Richard Molewa, husband to premier Molewa, and members of the provincial legislature.