|Our sweet little man|
We are really excited to be settled on a name for our little man.
Katie was easy. She was due on my Grandma's 80th birthday, my Grandma has a beautiful name (Katie Lee), and that was just a no-brainer for us.
When we found out Baby #2 was a boy, I reallyreallyreally wanted him to be Benjamin Joel Jr. after my husband. We never really discussed any other names, and Ben finally gave in. Thankfully, he doesn't have regrets. But he did ask me to not be so pushy about a name again in the future.
We had thrown around a few names before we found out the gender this time around, and once we found out we were having a boy, we had a name that was a strong first choice, but we changed our minds.
So far we have used family names. Ben wanted to do something different this time. We wanted our child to be named in honor of someone he could look up to--a man of godly character who was used in a great way to advance Christ's kingdom.
So, we decided. And now it's official.
He will be (or I guess already is?) Joshua Gianavel Murch. For the curious, Gianavel is pronounced "Gee-Ah-Nuh-Velle."
Who was Joshua Gianavel?We originally read about Joshua Gianavel in Foxe's Book of Martyrs. He was a contemporary of John Foxe and there is a pretty lengthy section about him ("Account of the Persecutions in the Valley of Piedmont").
In short, he was a brilliant Italian Protestant military commander during persecutions under the Papacy in the 1500's. He won many battles against their forces before ultimately being bed-bound due to a severe injury during battle--making him one of the only Protestants in history to fight back and win against the Roman church during a time of persecution.
At one point the Catholics imprisoned his wife and children and sent word that if he would embrace the Roman Catholic faith his family would be released and he would be promoted to the Duke of Savoy's Army.
To this he wrote a most beautiful response:
My Lord Marquis,
There is no torment so great or death so cruel, but what I would prefer to the abjuration of my religion: so that promises lose their effects, and menaces only strengthen me in my faith.
With respect to my wife and children, my lord, nothing can be more afflicting to me than the thought of their confinement, or more dreadful to my imagination, than their suffering a violent and cruel death. I keenly feel all the tender sensations of husband and parent; my heart is replete with every sentiment of humanity; I would suffer any torment to rescue them from danger; I would die to preserve them.
But having said thus much, my lord, I assure you that the purchase of their lives must not be the price of my salvation. You have them in your power it is true; but my consolation is that your power is only a temporary authority over their bodies: you may destroy the mortal part, but their immortal souls are out of your reach, and will live hereafter to bear testimony against you for your cruelties. I therefore recommend them and myself to God, and pray for a reformation in your heart.
-- JOSHUA GIANAVEL
We are excited to name our son after this man and it is our prayer God will grow him up and use him in His service all his days.
If you are interested in reading more about him (or anyone else written about by John Foxe), this is a free PDF version of Foxe's Book of Martyr's.