The faith chapter in Hebrews 11 is a very instructive example of man’s submission to God. However, it clearly is at odds with complementarianism’s push for “intelligent submission” for the wife in marriage.
Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he was attested to be righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
In Genesis, it’s actually Cain who wants to “intelligently submit” by questioning God why his offering wasn’t accepted and how it should be. Abel rightly just gave his best immediately without questioning.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Once again, Noah does not question God about why God wants him to build a boat when everyone is going to laugh at him, but instead Genesis 6:22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he left, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as a stranger in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Abraham never questions God about any of these things and just leaves his homeland to be a nomad trusting that God will let me know when and where to go.
Hebrews 11:11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.
The funny part about this one is Sarah actually doubted and questioned her faith. Her “intelligence” about her being too old was a hindrance to her faith. She was admonished by God and Abraham.
Genesis 18:10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” 15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and the one who had received the promises was offering up his only son; 18 it was he to whom it was said, “Through Isaac your descendants shall be named.” 19 He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back [p]as a type.
Abraham just goes and does it. He doesn’t need to intelligently submit.
Genesis 22:1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” 3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
Hebrews 11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the temporary pleasures of sin, 26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he persevered, as though seeing Him who is unseen. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after the Israelites had marched around them for seven days. 31 By faith the prostitute Rahab did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36 and others experienced mocking and flogging, and further, chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented 38 (people of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts, on mountains, and sheltering in caves and holes in the ground.
The examples really speak for themselves, but the few times such as Gideon’s and Barak’s cowardice to question the Lord on His plans they were rebuked or in the case of Barak and Deborah the gory was given to a woman killing Sisera.
I need not go on about the Israelites complaining and questioning Moses and God in the desert either.
It is nice to know why we need to submit at times, but it is certainly not required. In fact, most of the time it seems to be an impediment to growing in faith and the sanctification process.
It seems that God values the trust that submission shows above “intelligent” questioning and complaining. This isn’t to say that a wife should not bring up an her opinion if she has some wisdom, but it must be done within the confines of the Biblical marital roles and responsibilities which is with respect and obedience.