GOD deliberately created mankind to rule the earth and to accomplish this purpose, He created mankind as His own image- He made man His co-regent/representative rules. The image of GOD therefore refers to our unique status as human beings rulers in GODS stead, according to His will. We are created as his image to function as He would , were he administrating his own affairs directly.
Our ability unequally given to us in the providence of GOD are not the image, but only a means to carrying out His expressed and often secret end. So we are not physical reproduction of GOD but his physical representative on earth. We are stated to administer the Kingdom of GOD here on earth. (psalm 8;4).
“know ye not that we shall judge angels? (1corin 6;3)”
It is possible that Adam and Eve’s mission as caretaker of the garden of eden was some what of a proving ground for them, to see how well they would obey GOD.