What is the measure of a man? Is it athletic ability, strength, intelligence, or accomplishments? Manhood isn’t measured by how much money you make, the job you have, what you wear, or who you marry. While today’s cultural flinches at the term “biblical manhood,” God had a definition for men at creation, and you might be surprised about his views of what makes a man.
Brave and Bold: 31 Devotions to Strengthen Men offers thirty-one daily devotions to encourage readers to become men whose strength comes from following Jesus and reflects him to a watching world. Author Marty Machowski explores scripture to uncover the truth that becoming a real man means trusting God in every area of life, including serving, taking responsibility, providing for his family, and confessing failure.
Through personal stories and examples, and practical application, men will be challenged to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22) and to be examples of faithfulness, selflessness, self-control, and humble dependence on the Lord. Each devotion calls men to grow deeper in compassion, kindness, courage, integrity, and service. Machowski considers Brave and Bold to be a “pocket biblical manhood boot camp.”
Brave and Bold can be used for personal reading, one-on-one discipleship, or small group discussion, encouraging men to live on a mission to honor the Lord and to make him known in every part of life.
Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for over thirty years. He is the author of a number of family devotionals, curriculums (including the Gospel Story for Kids), children’s books and parenting titles. His latest releases include, WonderFull, God Made Me for Heaven and Brave and Bold. He and his wife, Lois, have six children and several grandchildren, and reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
"My sons can tell you about the Saturday mornings when I used to take them out for breakfast and for what I called 'manhood training.' I realized it was my job to help them grow from boyhood to the responsibilities of mature manhood. How I wish I'd had Marty's book back then. I'm so glad today's dads have this invaluable tool to use with their sons."
Bob Lepine, Cohost, FamilyLife Today
“Brave and Bold: 31 Devotions to Strengthen Men is a basic training manual for biblical manhood. Machowski offers thirty-one essential characteristics of biblical manhood in this compact, accessible devotional. Men who read this work and take on the challenges contained in it will be blessed and grow far beyond the thirty-one days it is designed to cover.”
Curtis Solomon, Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition; Cofounder of Solomon Soul Care
“As the father of five now-grown sons, I was called to the man-raising business. Had this book been around when my sons were younger, it would have been part of our manhood curriculum. It expresses what men are meant to be—and what I still want to be when I grow up. Brave and Bold is solid, practical, biblical, and accessible. Marty combines great illustrations with biblical insight, and then adds recommended next steps for application. Get it. Read it. Do it.”
Tim Shorey, Author of Respect the Image: Reflecting Human Worth in How We Listen and Talk, 30/30 Hindsight: 30 Reflections on a 30-Year Headache,and An ABC Prayer to Jesus: Praise for Hearts Both Young and Old
“I thank God for Brave and Bold. It provides an antidote to one of the primary spiritual problems for men of our day: complacency. The church is not a passive organization to be tossed about by the whims of a pagan world. Rather, the church is a militant army, marching against the enemy on a mission for God. Marty reminds us of that in a loving, pastoral way, challenging men to be soldiers for Christ!”
Major O.J. DiIulio, Retired Army chaplain
“Marty Machowski has written a thoroughly biblical, highly practical, and enjoyable book that will encourage men, young and old, to pursue godly manhood. I know Marty personally and he is the kind of man I would be honored for my sons to grow up to be like. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to rise above the misguided versions of manhood presented in society and wishes to capture a biblical vision for manhood. Pick up a copy today—you will be blessed!”
Josh Mulvihill, President of Gospel Shaped Family; author of Biblical Grandparenting and Preparing Children for Marriage
“As a father of four boys, I am exceedingly thankful for Brave and Bold. Machowski has produced a timely, winsome, understandable, grace-infused, biblically saturated devotional for men of all ages. As Christian men desperately need compassionate and compelling guidance, Brave and Bold offers a clear path toward God-honoring biblical manhood. Whether used for personal devotion, group study, or parenting, Machowski’s work will undoubtedly bless and challenge you!”
Aaron White, Pastor for Teaching and Training, Redeemer Bible Church, Minnetonka, MN; author ofMan Up, Kneel Down: Shepherding Your Wife Toward Greater Joy in Jesusand Paul’s Big Letter: A Kid-Friendly Journey Through Romans
“We all know Marty is one of today’s preeminent authors for gospel-centered children’s and family literature. Now he has blessed the church with a fantastic resource for men. Brave and Bold is refreshing spiritual boot camp for both young believers and longtime Christians—never heavy-handed, never watered down, always grace-filled, and brimming with applicable truth. Pick up a copy! I have already recommended it to several churches I know.”
Joshua Cooley, New York Times bestselling author of Creator, Father, King: A One Year Journey With God, Heroes of the Bible Devotional, and The Biggest Win
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I saw this marketed to teens, & probably it would be good for them, but also for any man. I purchased it as a gift for a military man. I think he will appreciate not just the writing, but also the challenges thrown down at the end of each chapter to help Christian men grow above & beyond. I also like that the 31-day format makes it easy to use on an ongoing basis.
Men play a vital role in the spiritual development and growth of their families. However, many times men are not equipped to achieve this goal and do not know how to do this well. There is a dire need in the church for men to be better equipped as the spiritual leader in the home. In his new devotional book for men Brave and Bold: 31 Devotions to Strengthen Men (NewGrowth Press, 2021), pastor and author Marty Machowski seeks to help men become better spiritual leaders. As stated in the subtitle, the book is broken into thirty-one devotions on differing topics pertaining to manhood and spiritual leadership. These subjects include: worship, prayer, discipline, fidelity, courage, and service just to name a few. Each topic begins with a corresponding scripture passage and then a story to illustrate the topic being discussed. At the end, there is a Scripture passage for meditation and then a challenge in order to put into practice the topic being discussed. All thirty-one devotions follow this structure, and can be read within ten to fifteen minutes. This lends itself to the busy daily lives of most men who are juggling the responsibilities of family, church, and work. My main critique of the book is that I would not classify it as a devotional. I tend to classify devotionals as a resource that provides material to be read individually to aid spiritual growth. Although this book is arranged and marketed that way, I think it lends itself more to group study of at least two to three men. The reader would benefit more from reading the book in that setting so as to provide accountability to put into practice the material discussed in the book. Yet, I would still recommend Brave and Bold as a resource for men who are seeking to grow in their faith.
I’m not generally a fan of devotionals, but my children and I are currently going through LONG STORY SHORT (also by Machowski), and we are immensely enjoying it. So when I heard about the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of his newest work, I jumped at the chance. The first thing to point out is that, while this devotional is geared toward men (it says so in the subtitle, after all), the actions and attitudes proposed in this book (encouragement, truthfulness, confession, and so on) aren’t exclusive to men. They represent the calling of all of God’s children: young and old, men and women. So why the focus on men in particular? Because men need instruction and training in how to apply core Christian responsibilities with God-honoring masculinity. As Machowski says in his book’s introduction, “Men are not born; boys are. Manhood requires education, development, and application.” (2) And as the book concludes, “The church needs men. While we should beware of simply affirming every cultural expression of manhood as biblical, we should nevertheless seek to champion men.” (113) This devotional is an attempt to do just that. “Think of it,” Machowski says, “as manhood basic training…[or] your pocket biblical manhood boot camp.” (3, 4) Each devotion begins with a Bible verse and a story of some kind (often from the realm of the author’s experiences in the armed forces), which are both tied together to illustrate a particular theme. This format is to be expected. However, a highlight of this devotional—and what makes it stand out from the rest—is its focus on practical application. Rather than leaving readers with thinking, “Okay, that was a nice perspective,” each chapter has two rubber-meets-the-road sections. First is "Get Started." This section includes a Scripture passage to meditate on. Because readers are lazy (including myself), the book prints the passage itself for easy reference. (You don’t even have to go find a Bible to look up the passage.) Also included are additional thoughts, action steps, or questions to ponder—all related to the chapter’s topic. Second is "Take the Challenge." This is where Machowski recommends action steps to apply the chapter’s material. Sometimes the challenge is simply to pray about a particular issue or to follow directions in memorizing a short passage of Scripture. At other times, the challenge is to seek accountability for a specific issue or to implement a new practice into your routine. In any case, these challenges help put feet to the principles explored earlier in each chapter. You can, as the devotional itself says, read through the 31 chapters in 31 days (and pick just a few areas to focus on), or you can read one chapter a week and give yourself more time for application of each challenge. Whatever method you choose, the meditations, questions, and action points move the book from the realm of “merely theoretical” to “immediately practical.” On rare occasions, Machowski defines manhood without what I would consider sufficient Biblical support, either because he assumes the reader agrees with him (which I do), or because he chooses a proof text that seems to be taken out of its proper context. Such moments, however, are few and far between. Overall, as someone who rarely reads devotionals, I can confidently state that BRAVE AND BOLD, especially with its unique application sections, promises to be a means of grace for real and lasting growth in manhood—not in the macho or milquetoast extremes of our culture, but in the Christ-like character we all desperately need.
Brave and Bold should be required reading for every man in the church. The devotions are easy to digest and understand, while also being incredibly insightful into how God calls men to live their lives. Each chapter focuses on a trait found in the Bible that all men must strive to emulate. The book challenges men to live up to the full potential that God has called them to and breaks down what scriptures teach about true manhood. A must-read!
Brave and Bold has been an amazing resource for me in my walk with Christ. I read it with my two co-workers each morning, and every day it takes a different aspect of our walks with Jesus and shows us what the Bible says about it and how to be strengthened in it. I especially like the challenges at the end of each chapter, it gives me specific biblical application that I can do today to obey God. Highly recommend!
Needed book for those aimless teenage boys who need to get off their cell phones, put down their video games, stop thinking about themselves - and re shift their focus to growing in their walk with Christ.
I purchased this for a friend and her husband. Their son is having a difficult time transitioning from being a teen to an adult. After dropping out of the Army, he has come back home to live with his parents and is trying to "figure it all out". We used Mr Machowski's Bible products with our children when they were younger. Nice to see him now writing for young adults.
Another fantastic book by Marty Machowski, I have started reading through earlier this month and have enjoyed picking it up each morning. It is a great read for anyone looking to gain consistency in morning devotions.