What about Mom and the Kids


What about “Mom” and the “Kids”?

Richard Hollerman

How often have we heard people referring to their mothers as “Mom”! And how frequently do you hear people speaking of their “kids”?  In fact, do you also claim to have a mom and kids?

For some decades now people in general seem to commonly use these terms and even prefer them.  We are convinced that in many cases this usage lowers the respect that our mothers and children deserve.

We all agree that to call our mothers “Mother” is an expression of respect and esteem. This shows our devotion and admiration for the woman who brought us into the world.  Commonly “Mama” or “Mommy” are also used. These are affectionate and respectful ways to refer to our Mother. Under no circumstances would we refer to our mother as “the old lady” as some disrespectful people are prone to do. (We also know that some disrespectful men call their wife “the old woman” and some wives refer to their husband as “the old man”!)

When we research the origin of the term “Mom” we receive several different results.  One source states:

Mom is short for mother – mother originates from the Latin word, mater.
Another origin is mama, which is short for mammary, since all human mothers have mammary glands. ( wiki.answers. com /Q/Where_did_the_ word_mom_ originate# ixzz279ZKJqqe).

Another source gives us this:

When the Brittons were learning Old English (for whatever reason) they would have learnt the word “mother” from Old English but when they were speaking informally they would have kept the “mam”. This has been maintained in Modern English where “mam”, “mum” or “mom” are said informally but “mother” more formally. (wiki.answers.com/ Q/What_is_the_ origin_of-the-word_Mon# ixzz279vZMf3).

Although “Mom” may be used more frequently in our day because children have much less respect for their parents, we suggest that it would be more respectful for children to use “Mother” or perhaps even “Mama” or “Mommy” depending on the circumstances.

And now what about “kids”?  Do you refer to your children with this term?  We know that parents have less respect and regard for their children in our day than in the past.  When millions of mothers have murdered their unborn children, when parents allow their children to watch programs on TV that are obviously detrimental, when they permit their children to play with violent computer games, and when they have no qualms about sending their children to the worldly and humanistic government schools, it is not surprising that they would demean them by using the rather crude term “kids.”

Many of us have wondered how children came to be called by a term that traditionally refers to baby goats.  As in the case of “mother,” so there are several suggestions as to how “kids” originated.  One source makes this claim:

What is the origin of the word kid. When did they start using kid instead of child?

“I don’t like a child being referred to as a kid.
When did they start using kid instead of child?
A kid is a young goat, why would you call a child a young goat?
What is the origin/history of the word kid?”


The answer was given:

Extended meaning of “child” first recorded as slang 1599, established in informal usage by 1840s. (answers.yahoo.com /question/index?qid= 200802162328 17AA1gJY5)

This would say that actually “kid” is not just a modern word but it is around 400 years old, with it coming into general usage nearly 200 years ago.  Another source puts it this way:

Early 13th. century “the young of a goat,” from Old Norse kið “young goat,” from Pre-Germanic kiðjom (Old German kitz). Extended meaning of “child” first recorded as slang 1599, established in English informal usage by 1840s. (wiki.answers.com/ Q/What_is _the_origin_of_the_word_kid #ix22279b1pcjb).

This adds nothing more to our examination.  Yet another source says:

c.1200, “the young of a goat,” from O.N. kið “young goat,” from P.Gmc. *kiðjom (cf. Ger. kitz). Extended meaning of “child” first recorded as slang 1599, established in informal usage by 1840s. Kiddo first recorded 1896. Applied to skillful young thieves and pugilists since at least 1812. Kid (dictionary.reference. com/etymology/kid).

“Kid” seems to go back to about the 1840s rather than its having a modern origin.  The reference to young “thieves” and “pugilists” does indicate a rather unsavory past to the term.  Notice another source:

What is the meaning of the word kids?  Goats (goats kid) from the German language. The word kinder means children and the garten means garden. In English, this translates into garden of children.

Kinder, or Kids. I think it is more appropriate to call them children, & not use the word Kid. I feel kids makes them more like animals. (wiki.answers.com/Q/ What_is_the_meaning_of_the_ word_kids#_ixzz279dmDu9Q).

It would seem that “kid” primarily means a young goat, but it cannot be denied that the term has been used for children since the middle 1800s and probably more frequently in the last few decades.  Compared to “child” and “children” or “son” and “daughter,” I believe that most people would say that “kid” is much less respectful, considerate, and honorable.  If we value children as a gift from God, why not use the terms that we find many places in Scripture?

Consider this:  The psalmist wrote, “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; the fruit of the womb is a reward” (127:3).  Notice that he didn’t write that “kids” were a gift from the Lord!  We also read, “Your wife shall be a like a fruitful vine within your house, your children like olive plants around your table” (128:3). It is clear that he didn’t speak of one’s “kids” being like olive plants!

In the New Testament, Matthew writes that Jesus “called a child to Himself and set him before them,” then He said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (18:2-4).  Our Lord didn’t say that we are to be like “kids”—but He said we are to be like “children”!

In Paul’s writings we find the same usage.  He wrote, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. . . . Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1, 4).  The apostle didn’t say for “kids” to obey their parents in the Lord!  In Colossians, Paul wrote something similar: “Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.  Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart” (3:20-21).  Paul seems to consistently refer to children as “children”!

An examination of the NASB Exhaustive Concordance found no instances where either “kid” or “mom” is used in the entire Bible.  We know that we should be willing to consult the Hebrew and Greek, but the translators knew that neither “kid” nor “mom” had a place in the refined and respectful renderings that are called for in the Holy Scriptures.

As for the term “Mom,” we have noted above that this is not found even once in the Bible (NASB).  Conversely, “Mother” is commonly used.  For instance, Proverbs 1:8 states: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”  A little later we read: “My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother” (6:20).

What about Mary?  Matthew calls her “His [Christ’s] mother Mary” (1:18).  Then in 2:11 we have reference to “Mary His mother” (see also 2:13, 14, 20, 21).  The Lord refers to “mother” in this way: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me” (10:37).  Matthew also uses the term: “While He [Jesus] was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him” (12:46).  Dozens and dozens of other references to “mother” are found in the New Testament.

Under no circumstances should one’s mother be labeled as “the old woman” and children shouldn’t be called “brats” or “monsters” or any other term of derision or disrespect.  Our loved ones deserve something better.  While it may not be absolutely wrong to refer to one’s “Mom” or one’s “Kids,” we would encourage every reader to have more respect and use terms that everyone will acknowledge as respectful, honorable—and loving.  We would also suggest not using such contemporary terms as “the King’s kids” or other references to kids, e.g., kids’ clothes, kids’ programs, kids’ toys, and kids’ class.  Our children are children rather than kids!

Some may wonder about the term “father.”  We know that this is found repeatedly in the Bible to refer to the one who conceived us.  We know that affectionate substitutions are often given to our fathers, such as “papa” or “dad” or “daddy,” which are comparable to “mama” or “mommy.” We find nothing objectionable to such terms if they are used with love and respect.

More than using honorable terms to refer to our mothers and children, let’s make sure that our hearts are filled with love and respect. It would do little good to use respectful terms if our hearts are filled with meanness, unkindness, disrespect, and lack of love.  Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34). Let’s make sure our hearts are pure then let’s use labels that reflect that love and purity!











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