in a gender-flattening culture such as ours, one of the ways to glorify and testify to the real and living God is to deeply live out our gender in a biblical way. even when our culture does admit to some distinction between the genders, these definitions are a far cry from the ways that God created our gender to be lived out.
here are some practical ideas of counter-cultural ways to live out your femininity. it will offend some. it way be seen as politically incorrect. but it points to and honors the one who created you to be uniquely female.
not freaking out about baby fat. i do believe it is important and good to have a nice appearance to honor and show love to your husband. but God created our bodies to be used and not preserved. if you die at an old age and your body is not worn out and used up, you may not have been using it to pour out service to others. the normal wear and tear associated with child-bearing (including breast feeding) is a good thing. so, yes, work out and eat healthfully. dress nicely when you go out on a date with your husband. but reject our culture's obsession with looking the same as you did pre-baby. in fact, don't even talk about it. its not realistic, and its not honoring to God.
extended breast feeding. our culture tells women to reject their God-given ability to breast feed in exchange for the "convenience" of formula. because that way, dad can feed the baby too! (remember what i said about our culture flattening gender differences?). fortunately, some are starting to recognize the beautiful ways that God created breast milk to be the superior nutritional source for babies. however, there are definite limits our culture sets on this. it seen as weird to breast feed past the time baby has teeth, or up to a year old at most. however, the immune boosting properties of breast milk are actually more important the second year of a child's life than the first (as they are more mobile and exposed to more germs). and the majority of the world today (and the vast majority of mothers in the history of the world) have breastfed until 2+ years. again, our culture emphasizes the inconvenience of breast feeding to a mother. but she cannot frequently escape her child for long periods when she is breast feeding! better wean as soon as possible! in extended breast feeding we can embrace the God-given role of motherhood and reject our culture's call to escape baby and have our "own life" apart from baby (and toddler).
be a stay at home mom. and LOVE doing it. the #1 response i get when people see me in public (these days with two babies, previously with four kiddos) is "WOW, you must have your hands full!" (often in a critical tone...). my response is always "yes, full of blessings!" (which is often returned with a blank look or a glare, but i digress...). our society teaches that you must live a significant life, and their definition of significance involves career and a lot of time away from your own kids (ironically, if your career involves teaching or helping other people's kids, it is seen as a noble career. but not if it involves your own kids!).
embracing the call to full time motherhood is certainly counter cultural. but to go against culture even more, LOVE your job and don't complain about it. moms are expected to complain about motherhood (after all, motherhood and childbearing were certainly touched by the fall.) but we honor God when we enjoy the work he has cut out for us.
manage your household. do most of the chores, and do them without complaining. despite our society's attempts to flatten gender roles, studies show that women still do the majority of household chores, even when they work full time (a result of a serious epidemic of the rejection of real manhood). if you embrace your role as a household manager, you will likely be doing most of the chores (though hopefully not while working full time). love this. embrace it. don't use it as an opportunity for bitterness or complaining. reject the common trend in our society for women to complain about housework. i can't put it better than this:
"work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, as the Master you are serving is Christ" colossians 3:23-24