Are we physically created in God's image or are our spirits patterned after His? If created physically after His image then what about those born with physical or mental defects?
Bible says that both males and females are created in the image of God. Unless God were a hermaphrodite (having both male and female sexual organs),this phrase could not refer to physical characteristics.
The Bible has a lot to say about the nature of God. God is personal and emotional. God is neither male nor female, since He is not a physical, but a spiritual being.
Let me explain what is the difference between "Soul" and 'Spirit" :
The soul is best described as the characteristics that make up the advanced brain, including mind, will and emotion. Only birds and mammals exhibit these characteristics, which is why humans can form mutual relationships with birds and mammals.
The spirit is that part of humans that is able to love and experience God directly. It is found in no other animal species, since no other species can experience God or form a relationship with Him
Paul's ability to appeal to reason demonstrates a way that man is made in the image of God. God by His nature is a rational being. He operates by the laws of logic. He is not constrained by them because they are some kind of "higher force", but they are the natural outflow of His will; they are His nature. He is as much a rational being as He is a loving being. Because only man has the true capacity for rational thinking, he is in this way also made in God's image. Also, man is intelligent; aware of his surroundings and capable of changing them. He does not act on instinct, but should be able to control his natural drives for higher purposes.
So "in the image of God" refers to the characteristics of the human spirit and the ability to make moral judgments - things that are not found in any animal species, even those to whom we are said to be closely related.
It's not true that those people who have mental or physical deficiencies are somehow not created in the image of God Because some of the aspects we associate with God's image may not be operating properly, it doesn't mean the person is devoid of God's image. Rather, it shows that the image is somehow skewed or distorted. Every person who is aware, no matter how slight his mental faculties, lives by some ethic, some moral code, and some decision-making processes. This re-emphasizes importance of our Redeemer's work in the lives of men, for only He can create a heart in man that is not distorted and seeks His will.