Family was established to provide the opportunity and framework for individuals to collectively carry out the plan of God in history. In particular, that plan includes the replication of God’s image and the implementation of His rule, or dominion, on earth. Dominion simply means ruling on God’s behalf in history so that history comes under God’s authority.
In Genesis we read about God creating man, male and female, and after doing so, He gives them a common commission, to “… let them rule.” What we see in the surrounding verses is God delegating to mankind the full responsibility for managing His earthly creation. God decides to indirectly control the affairs of earth by letting mankind exercise direct dominion. He has placed an agent on earth to serve as His representative to carry out His desires in history.
Not only does God proffer the delegation to rule, He also grants the freedom, responsibility, and the right to rule on His behalf as owner. But what He does not do is force man to rule. He says, “Let them rule.” He does not say He is going to make them rule.
What that means is that you can have a happy family or a miserable family depending on whether or not you are exercising your rule in reflection of God’s image. God isn’t going to make you rule. He isn’t going to make you have a productive and fulfilling home. He sets up the fundamentals of the family, and gives you the option of utilizing them.