O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandmenst always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! (Deuteronomy 5:29).
The Ten Commandments were given to the nations, but they were also for individuals and families. Israels laws in general and the Ten Commandments in particular centered around family life and protected the home (Deuteronomy 4:29). Other nations laws centered on civil life and protected the state. Israel was warned, not to marry among pagan nations whose people would turn them away from God (note Deuteronomy 7:3,4). Lets look at some of commandments in this light.
The first one is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Canaanites in the Promised Land had temples with idols. But the most powerful hold on the inhabitants came from their household shrines and gods (Jeremiah 32:29). Archaeologists often find small idols in Canaanite houses.
Remember the Sabbath Day. It is a sign of Israels covenant with God (Exodus 31:1317). There was nothing like it in any other nation. It was to be a day of rest and worship for the family (Isaiah 58:13,14).
Honor parents: in duty to men, this was first. No other nation commanded this. Parents should be good models, but if children did not respect their parents, they were to die! (Exodus 21:17). If they did honor them they would live long. Why? Because when peace reigns in the home, society is healthier!
Most murders occur in homes. Police say 7080% of murders occur among close relatives.
No adultery. This obviously breaks up homes!
Covetousness: most evident when families read the parents will. Covetousness is worst in families!
Thus the Ten Commandments were expecially for families. DPL