Deuteronomy 5:9-10: "…for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments" (NIV).
God knows the consequences of sin and pleads for us to obey his commands. He lets us know in advance that our choices will have lasting consequences both for us and our children. Sinful choices can be the beginning of destructive family patterns that often carry on generation after generation.
But God's mercy far outweighs his judgment. Many more generations will be blessed if we choose to love and obey Him. In the face of temptation, remember that the way we live our lives establishes a lasting legacy either in the form of blessings or punishments. What will we choose to give our children and the generations that follow?
When faced with temptation, consider the legacy that sin passes on to your children.