Ancient Hebrew history reads like a bad Middle Eastern soap opera. It's rife with stories of murder,personal betrayal, bribery, sex, revenge, and treason. After a period of peace and affluent influence the kingdom is split into two regions and strife explodes exponentially. Generations of leaders were worse than the one before and yet there were periods of hope as a godly leader would step up in spite of his ancestry. Unfortunately that reign of godly focus was usually followed by malcontent, selfish leaders willing to betray everyone around them for power.
It's interesting to note that God-honoring kings would reign directly after their evil fathers and that the God-focused kings didn't usually produce offspring of the same integrity. This reality doesn't negate the need to provide the right influence for our own children, but it highlights the element of personal choice and free will. It's a frightening reminder of our need to not only teach and model what's right for future generations, but to also pour ourselves into importunate prayer for the choices they will make on their own.